Gary Neville sends firm message to Arsenal chiefs over Arteta vs Aubameyang ‘battle’

Arteta quizzed about Aubameyang as Arsenal defeat West Ham

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Arsenal chiefs must back Mikel Arteta in the ongoing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saga and look to potentially sell the striker, claims Gary Neville. Aubameyang is again absent for Arsenal’s visit to Leeds United this evening. The Gabon international has been left out of the club’s last three match-day squads following a disciplinary breach which led to him being stripped of the captaincy.

Aubameyang has again struggled in front of goal so far this season.

But it is his misdemeanours off the pitch that have got him in trouble with Arteta.

Arteta has refused to comment on whether the club’s highest-paid player will play for the Gunners again.

Neville predicted a falling out between Arteta and his star forward after the 2-1 loss at Everton earlier this month, where Aubameyang made his last appearance from the substitutes bench.

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The Sky Sports pundit says Arteta must win the battle he is in with the 32-year-old.

Neville said of Arsenal: “Yeah they were poor [against Everton] and that was probably the night I thought the Aubameyang situation, I said it on television that night, was going to come to a head.

“I think he brought [Eddie] Nketiah on ahead of him which was I think a real sign that he’d fallen out with him and I said that will definitely come to a head in the next couple of weeks – it has done.

“He’s got to win that battle, Mikel Arteta. He’s a young manager, he’s making a stand, one that he feels very passionate about. Obviously Aubameyang is a senior player, he’s the captain, he’s a great goalscorer.

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“Once you take a player on like that, the club either has to back the manager or they have to back the star player.

“It will be interesting to see how that develops before the January transfer window.”

Arsenal sit fourth in the Premier League table and will still be there on Christmas Day even if they fall to defeat at Leeds.

Neville thinks Arteta is doing a good job and therefore says the club’s hierarchy must back the Spaniard and potentially look to sell Aubameyang.

He added: “I think he’s a very good young coach, one of the very best young coaches that we have.

“I think he’s got a squad that is inconsistent and I think my view is that he’s doing a half-decent job at Arsenal and they should persist with him.

“That means they probably have to back him on Aubameyang, maybe even leaving the club.”

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