Ian Wright has told Wrighty’s House that he does not understand why Mikel Arteta and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were not able to resolve their differences before Arsenal allowed the striker to leave.
Aubameyang looks set to join Barcelona after it was announced on Tuesday that he had left the Emirates. It came after the forward had spent several weeks on the periphery of the squad.
His most recent appearance came at the start of December. Shortly after, he was stripped of the captaincy and ordered to train alone after returning from an approved trip to France late.
Aubameyang then went off on international duty ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations. And with Arsenal struggling to sign another forward, some may have wondered whether he would be handed a lifeline upon his return.
However, it soon became clear that the writing was indeed on the wall. He was reportedly left shocked to be left out of the squad that travelled to Dubai for a mid-season trip.
Aubameyang is currently a free agent. However, a move to Barca looks to be imminent. It is a sad end to his time in North London.
Wright has questioned the club’s handling of the situation. He suggested that the friction must have started some time ago. And thus, Arsenal should not have handed him a new contract in 2020.
“I can’t understand deep down why something couldn’t happen [for it to be resolved]. Simply because he’s only just signed,” he told Wrighty’s House.
“If everything was going on before there would have been a lead up of misdemeanours for the manager to say ‘you know something, let’s not sign him’.
“It just seems like if you knew there was things he’s not been doing, that you don’t like, this was a chance for him to not sign and to leave. Then why did we sign him for so much money and then a year later he’s gone?”
Arteta has taken huge gamble with Aubameyang after Arsenal fail to sign striker
Arteta continues to have his doubters. And Arsenal did not have a very good January on or off the pitch. They have not won in 2022. And they have not scored a goal in their last four.
So letting Aubameyang go is a major roll of the dice from Arteta. Arsenal are left with just Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah. Neither has been prolific this season.
Plenty of Arsenal fans will sympathise with Aubameyang over Arteta. And many more will question whether his departure was necessary, as Wright has done.
Certainly, if Arsenal do not turn their form around in the coming weeks, Arteta’s decision to freeze Aubameyang out could prove to be a defining moment in his tenure.
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