Martin Keown has urged Mikel Arteta to drop the underperforming Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Gabriel Martinelli.
Arsenal gave their captain a new deal at the start of the season after he netted 22 league goals in each of the last two seasons.
But he hasn’t repaid the faith shown in him and has just 9 goals in 25 Premier League games in this campaign.
These numbers tell the story of Arsenal’s poor season as their reliance on him has now backfired.
Alexandre Lacazette has had even more impact than the captain in this campaign and there is one player who has spent too much time away from the team – Gabriel Martinelli.
The Brazilian was a shining light in this Arsenal side in his first season at the club, but he suffered a long-term injury in the last campaign.
He has been fit for some time now, yet Arteta continues to bench him for an unproductive Aubameyang.
Keown says the Spaniard has to make the tough call and sideline Aubameyang for the Brazilian.
He writes in his column on Mail Sport: “Arteta has a big decision to make on his captain. He set an example by dropping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the north London derby recently. Aubameyang was supposed to start against Spurs but turned up late and was pulled.
“Should Arteta not be dropping him for performing as poorly as he did against Liverpool? If he sticks with him, he risks losing the respect of the group.
“It’s time to bring in 19-year-old Gabriel Martinelli. He is too good to be sitting on the bench. His team-mates see him in training and know what he can do.
“They will be baffled by his continued absence. I know I am.
“Use him on the left. Use Martinelli’s fellow 19-year-old Bukayo Saka on the right. Start Emile Smith Rowe. Then you’ll have a team who can pose problems for the opposition. There were too many passengers against Liverpool. ”