Mikel Arteta has revealed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s reaction to being dropped and has discussed comparisons between the Arsenal captain and Mesut Ozil.
Aubameyang has struggled to find his best form this season and was criticised following an ineffective performance in defeat to Liverpool last weekend, the forward subsequently dropped for Arsenal‘s 1-1 draw with Slavia Prague on Thursday.
The Gabon international came on as a substitute and set up Nicolas Pepe’s goal at the Emirates, with Arteta revealing the discussion he had with the 31-year-old ahead of his omission from the starting side.
“We talked before the Europa League and said that everybody has contributed in different ways,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash with Sheffield United.
“The whole squad has been involved and yesterday’s role for him was to sit on the bench and make an impact.
“He had that impact because he assisted Nico, and he should have also scored a tap-in with his left foot. That’s what players have to do when they come in.”
Aubameyang’s situation has been likened to that of former midfielder Mesut Ozil, who signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal in 2018 before enduring a downturn in form.
Ozil became the Gunners’ highest-paid player of all time before falling out of favour, spending a significant period on the sidelines before leaving to sign for Fenerbahce in January.
Despite the comparisons, Arteta insists Aubameyang is a ‘different’ personality and admits he is positive over the player’s future at the Emirates.
“I am always positive about the future, I don’t want to think about things that happened in the past, or want to compare different situations and different personalities. I wouldn’t get dragged down by that.”
Speculation regarding the forward’s future has also surfaced given his personal toils and Arsenal’s disappointing season, though Arteta gave a definitive answer when asked if the club captain remains committed to the cause: “Totally,” insisted the Spaniard.