Emmanuel Petit has claimed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t been motivated to bring his best for Arsenal prior to sealing his move to Barcelona.
The Gunners forward was ultimately dropped from the playing squad during December and stripped of the club captaincy after a fallout with Mikel Arteta, and hasn’t featured in a competitive match since.
After being left at home whilst the senior squad departed for Dubai for a training camp shortly after Auba returned to north London from the AFCON, an exit did appear to be on the cards, but it took until the final hours of the transfer window before a deal was struck.
That deal isn’t believed to include any transfer fee however, with Arsenal seemingly happy to shift his monster wages from their budget for the next 18 months, and Petit agrees that the right decision was made to let him go.
‘Mikel Arteta did exactly what everyone expected with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,’ Petit told Gambling.com(via the Metro).
‘I don’t want to show disrespect for Aubameyang, because I believe he is a great player. But, for the last few months he hasn’t been himself.
‘Something has changed in his mind. I don’t know if it’s related to the club, the manager or the way he is living in his private life. But we were not seeing the same Aubameyang that we saw a couple of years ago.
‘I believe Arteta made the right decision on Aubameyang and he made his mark in the dressing room with the choice he made.
‘To leave your captain out of a game and then put him on the transfer market is a very strong message to your dressing room.’
Pete then went onto state that Auba’s role in the team and his behaviour at the club were not well matched, adding: ‘As the top earner at the club, like Aubameyang was, you have a reasonability to your team-mates and you need to show that on the pitch.
‘Aubameyang needs to understand that you have to show a high level week-after-week and the fact he signed a new contract for big, big money may not be related to his current issue, but I will say the coincidence is huge.
‘Straight after he signed that contact, he wasn’t the same player anymore.
‘It wouldn’t have mattered if his future was with Arsenal or somewhere else, he needs to understand he has to go back to the player he was, with the same motivation and mentality that he had. Money is huge, but he has to get his anger back!’
It is hard to disagree with any of Petit’s comments, and I don’t think many Arsenal fans are actually sad to see Auba go. What is being felt is that we let ourselves down in the window by not bringing in a replacement however, and the feeling is that his departure could hurt our push for a possible top four finish.