football

Gary Neville claims Mikel Arteta wants to sell ‘problem’ Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after Everton loss


The Gunners’ skipper was on the bench for Monday’s defeat (Pictures: Getty / Sky Sports)

Gary Neville believes trouble is brewing between Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang following Monday night’s Premier League defeat to Everton.

The Gunners took the lead at Goodison Park on the stroke of half-time but threw away their lead in a passive second half as goals from Richarlison and Demarai Gray secured a 2-1 win for the Toffees.

Aubameyang, who has struggled for form recently, was named on the bench for the match with Arteta saying beforehand that he was simply resting and rotating his side.

Aubameyang was subbed on in the 85th minute (Picture: Getty)

But when Gabriel Martinelli was taken off in the 71st minute, Arteta opted to bring on Eddie Nketiah – who could leave the club in January – instead of bringing on Aubameyang.

Neville believes that could create a problem between captain and manager, or exacerbate pre-existing friction, and feels all parties might prefer it if Aubameyang left the club.

‘I think there will be a problem with Aubameyang off the back of this game,’ said the former Manchester United full-back on Monday Night Football.

‘I don’t think he’ll like the idea of Nketiah coming on. I don’t think he’ll like the idea of being a sub full-stop.’

Asked if something is brewing, Neville continued: ‘Yeah it is going to. There’s always that little bit of a bug there between Arteta and Aubameyang.

‘I know he’s the captain, but he leaves him out and it just feels like it’s something a little bit awkward and it’s going to cause a problem.

‘I suspect if Arteta could probably get money for him and get someone else they probably would.

Aubameyang missed a great chance with the final kick of the game (Getty)

‘And I bet if Aubameyang could move on he probably would as well. It maybe could just turn a little bit sour.’

Aubameyang did come on eventually and missed an excellent chance late on, though Neville was critical of his technique, adding: ‘When this chance comes to him – he makes a good move then moves outside – it’s one of them that’s hard to play as a side foot across to that far corner.

‘You almost want to go with your left foot and guide it, bend it past Pickford into the far corner. It’s a little bit awkward, a little bit unnatural in terms of how he’s tried to finish it.

‘It’s not for me to tell him how to finish, but it was really difficult to hit that one with his side foot across the goalkeeper as it’s not coming back for you.’


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