Paul Merson believes Mikel Arteta’s decision to offload Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from his squad is the catalyst for Arsenal’s recent success.
The Gunners are now at the top of the Premier League table, having won all their league matches.
They are on their way to a successful season, and Arteta deserves credit.
When he became the club’s manager, Arsenal was a struggling giant that had underperformed for several seasons.
The club’s culture was poor and certainly not a winning one. The Spaniard wanted to change that straight away, and it cost some of the players their Arsenal careers.
The most high-profile departure under the Spaniard was Aubameyang, and Merson believes offloading him was a defining moment for Arsenal.
Merson told The Sun: ‘I was very impressed with the way Arteta handled Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
‘He took a massive chance with a player who was a huge influence in the dressing room and it’s worked. You have to make a statement when you’re a new manager.
‘George Graham did it many years ago when he came to Arsenal and got rid of Charlie Nicholas, Tony Woodcock, Graham Rix, Viv Anderson and Steve Williams.’
Just Arsenal Opinion
Auba was an important player for us, but he lost focus, and that could have affected the dressing room.
Offloading him sent a message to the rest of the team that discipline is an important part of the new culture.