Rafa Benitez has shared information from ‘inside’ Arsenal and how Mikel Arteta tried to help Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before letting the now-Chelsea forward leave in January, as he told Premier League Productions (16/10/22 at 7:20 pm).
The former Newcastle United boss claimed that Arteta ‘tried to support the player as much as he could’, before both parties – Arsenal and Aubameyang – agreed to cut short his contract, which saw him head to Barcelona on a free-transfer.
A lot was made of that call by Arteta and how the former midfielder was shooting his own team in the foot given that they were trying to chase Champions League football.
In the end, the Gunners were pipped to that fourth spot by Tottenham, but fast forward to the present, Gabriel Jesus is thriving in the forward areas as the London club are sitting at the top of the Premier League table.
Just like Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi, it has proven to be a ruthless, yet correct call from the man calling the shots from the Emirates dugout.
Nonetheless, when former Premier League goalkeeper Shay Given spoke about that Aubameyang call, after Arsenal beat Leeds United on Sunday, Benitez shared what he has previously known about the situation involving the former captain.
Shay Given told Benitez: “Aubameyang was a big decision. He was the captain. He was the leading goalscorer. But, as a young manager, he made a big decision to get him out of the club and now he is kind of rewarded for it.”
Benitez responded: “I will tell you something, because I know something a little bit from inside. I think he was trying to support the player, as much as he could.
“Then after he couldn’t, so he had to make a decision and that’s it.”
PROOF IN THE PUDDING
Arsenal are sitting top of the Premier League table, their best start ever and playing some of their best football ever.
It will be interesting to see how Aubameyang gets on at Chelsea, but those at the Emirates do seem to be better off without him.
The main aim is still to still secure Champions League football, but given where they are now, the fans will be dreaming about a lot more.
Well, Arsenal fans need to remember that the awards aren’t handed out in October, and come March time, if they are still in and around that top spot, then that’s when they should start going overboard.