Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is NOT a leader at Arsenal, insists John Barnes and says the forward is ‘an issue’ for the club… as he claims Mikel Arteta’s decision to snub his club captain against Everton means it’s ‘the beginning of the end’
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has come in for criticism at Arsenal this season
- Arsenal’s captain has been on a goal drought and was dropped against Everton
- The striker doesn’t display leadership qualities, says Liverpool icon John Barnes
- He says Mikel Arteta picking Eddie Nketiah over him at Goodison was damning
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not acting like a leader, insists former Liverpool midfielder John Barnes – who believes the struggling forward will leave the club soon.
The 32-year-old was dropped by Mikel Arteta in their 2-1 loss to Everton on Monday night, and the Spaniard opted to bring on Eddie Nketiah first at Goodison Park to help revive their fortunes up front.
Aubameyang was later introduced for the last few minutes but was guilty of missing a great opportunity to level the score after Demarai Gray’s late wonder strike, with many Gunners fans unloading their fury on the former Dortmund star.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not acting like the leader Arsenal need, says John Barnes
The forward has reportedly fallen out with Mikel Arteta after being benched against Everton
He has scored just four Premier League goals this season and has looked short on confidence amid rumours he has fallen out with Arteta, and Barnes believes the club should cash in on him – and free transfer bound Alexandre Lacazette – in January.
‘Arsenal should look to replace both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,’ he told BonusCodeBets.
‘A move for Alexandre Lacazette from Arsenal has been rumoured for a while, so it’s likely he’ll be moving on. Aubameyang is also on a huge contract and whether he’ll receive that money elsewhere, nobody knows.
‘Things aren’t exactly smooth sailing for Aubameyang at Arsenal. He didn’t start against Everton, and even Eddie Nketiah came on ahead of him.’
Barnes believes Arsenal will cash in on the struggling forward, who has scored just four times
He says Arteta’s decision to bring on Eddie Nketiah over Aubameyang at Goodison Park was ‘the beginning of the end’
Barnes says Aubameyang isn’t acting as a leadership figure to the rest of the squad and feels Arteta’s decision to go for Nketiah instead of him on Monday night was the final straw of his time in north London.
‘Aubameyang is an issue,’ he added. ‘When you have a young team, you want your senior players to be leaders and Aubameyang, as captain, isn’t displaying those qualities.’
‘This is the beginning of the end for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Arsenal career, because he’s their club captain, yet Mikel Arteta opted to bring on Eddie Nketiah against Everton instead.
He called the forward ‘an issue’ for Arsenal and said a star player being dropped was telling
‘The problem is, we’re not privy to conversations that happen Monday to Friday. That’s when the manager assesses his squad, the mood of the camp and will look for the players who have those leadership qualities.
‘Football fans only see the team on a Saturday, but the manager knows best and that’s a telling sign regarding the Aubameyang situation.
‘It’s never clear cut when our favourite players aren’t playing, and that is why I have full trust in the managers when they make big decisions like leaving star players out. Fans will question it but there’s always more than what meets the eye.’
Gary Neville was among the names suggesting there had been a fall-out between Arteta and Aubameyang after he was dropped against Everton.
He said: ‘I think there’ll be a problem with Aubameyang after this,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘I don’t think he’ll like the idea of Nketiah coming on or being subbed full stop.
‘There’s always a little bit of a bug between Arteta and Aubameyang, I know he’s the captain but he leaves him out and it feels like something a bit awkward.
‘It’s going to cause a problem and I bet if he could get a bit of money for him and get someone else they would.
‘And I bet if Aubameyang could he would move on as as well because it could turn a little sour.’
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