Mikel Arteta has defended himself after former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claimed that the Spaniard drove him out of the club.
“I was the solution, not the problem” Mikel Arteta said Marca. The pair had a falling out on several occasions, prompting the Gunners to terminate the forward’s contract, and he then signed for Barcelona on a free transfer in January.
He hadn’t played for Arsenal since December, when Arteta dropped him and stripped him of the club captaincy as a disciplinary measure for returning late from an agreed-upon break.
When asked about what happened in north London during his unveiling as a Barcelona player, Aubameyang responded, “I think it was a problem just with him” (Arteta). “I can’t really tell you much. He wasn’t happy and that was it. I can’t say anything else because that’s what happened. I wasn’t very happy and I’m better this way.”
Such decisions may raise eyebrows, but Arteta believes they are in the best interests of the club in the long run. “I don’t send (a message),” he said. “It is not me here it is the club, and we make the decisions to defend the club, to try and improve the club as much as possible while respecting the club’s values and traditions.”