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Arsenal duo Mikel Arteta and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will have ‘a problem’ after Everton loss, says Gary Neville

·2-min read
Arsenal duo Mikel Arteta and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will have ‘a problem’ after Everton loss, says Gary Neville

Gary Neville envisages an issue between Mikel Arteta and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after Arsenal’s defeat at Everton, suggesting both parties would likely cut ties if it were feasible.

Gunners captain Aubameyang was dropped to the bench for Monday night’s Premier League clash at Goodison Park, with manager Arteta instead choosing Alexandre Lacazette as his attacking focal point in front of the supporting trio of Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal led through Odegaard’s late first-half finish on Merseyside until the 80th minute, when Richarlison - who had already seen two goals wiped away by the VAR - equalised before Demarai Gray snatched a dramatic injury-time winner.

To make matters worse for Aubameyang, Arteta opted to send on Eddie Nketiah - who looks set to leave Arsenal with his contract due to expire in the summer- before him at Goodison, with the academy graduate guilty of a glaring miss-of-the-season contender.

Aubameyang was eventually introduced in place of Lacazette with five minutes to play on Monday, but could not end his goal drought that now stands at six consecutive top-flight matches.

Indeed, three of the seven goals the Gabon striker has scored across all competitions so far this term came in the same game - the 6-0 Carabao Cup demolition of Championship side West Brom back in August.

Addressing criticism from Gunners great Thierry Henry following his decision to sub off Aubameyang while Arsenal were chasing a late equaliser in the 3-2 defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford last week, Arteta insisted there was no rift with his skipper, whom he said would not have been humiliated at being taken off as he admitted concern over his lack of goals.

However, Neville sees issues brewing between the pair that will only have intensified on Merseyside, suggesting that Arteta and Aubameyang would likely part ways if they could.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“I think there will be a problem with Aubameyang off the back of the this game,” Neville said on Sky Sports. “I don’t think he’ll like the idea of Eddie Nketiah coming on before him. I don’t think he’ll like the idea of being a substitute, full stop.

“There’s always that little bit of a bug there between Arteta and Aubameyang. I know he’s the captain but he leaves him out and it just feels like something that’s a little bit awkward, and it’s going to cause a problem.

“I suspect, if Arteta could probably get money for Aubameyang and he could get someone else, they probably would. And I bet if Aubameyang could move on he probably would as well because it could maybe turn a little sour.”

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