Mikel Arteta praises Arsenal players after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tribute against Southampton

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Mikel Arteta has said that Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ‘having some difficult times’ and praised his players for their tribute to him during the win over Southampton on Tuesday.

Aubameyang, 31, missed Saturday’s FA Cup defeat at St Mary’s for personal family reasons and wasn’t part of the squad in the same fixture as the Gunners beat the Saints 3-1 in the Premier League.

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Goals from Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette helped Arsenal overcome their tough opponents and all three players made a tribute to the skipper during their celebrations and after the game on social media

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A post shared by Alex Lacazette (@lacazettealex)

Saka made a heart shape with his hands towards the TV cameras, Pepe posted a photo of his celebration on Instagram with the caption (in French): “for you my brother”, while Lacazette made a no.14 gesture with his fingers in tribute to Aubameyang’s squad number.

“I love how they support each other and how they just protect each other,” said Arteta after the game.

“Auba is having some difficult times and we are all behind him and this win in his for him.”

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It’s not known when Aubameyang will return to the squad as he is given extended leave to deal with his personal family matters.

Arsenal face league leaders Manchester United on Saturday and remain confident that Kieran Tierney will be passed fit for the match after the Scotland international missed Tuesday’s win due to suffering from a tight calf muscle.

Arsenal’s Aubameyang Update Sets Stage for Gabriel Martinelli

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates his goal with Gabriel Martinelli during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Eintracht Frankfurt at Emirates Stadium on November 28, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)

Mikel Arteta has provided an update on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s availability for Arsenal after the captain left the recent FA Cup squad early to deal with a personal matter.

Hours before Saturday’s 1-0 defeat on the south coast, the 31-year-old left his teammates to travel home for an undisclosed reason, one that was simply described as personal.

Runar Alex Runarsson took his place in the matchday squad for the loss, a fixture that Arsenal are seeking revenge for as they are back at St. Mary’s for midweek Premier League action.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has rightly been given time off to see to the matter, and with a huge clash on the horizon Mikel Arteta was asked about his potential availability against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.

Arsenal boss Mikel Artea provides an update on Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng that sets the stage for Gabriel Martinelli

“Of course it will be a problem because he is a top striker, one who scores [a lot of] goals and he is our captain, a really important player in the team,” the Spaniard told the official Arsenal website. “But we have to respect the timings, let’s see – I don’t have enough information to see how things are evolving and hopefully things will go in the right direction.”

The captain’s importance off the field is something that is only disclosed through his fellow teammates, whereas on the pitch his own recent struggles have seen that influence wane. Finally starting to see glimpses of the ‘old Aubamayeng’ back though, his loss will be felt.

Whatever the issue is the club and its fans are right behind him, with his likely absence setting the stage for Gabriel Martinelli.

Still understandably lacking his usual sharpness, in his three starts this season he’s nonetheless demonstrated that his fighting spirit and boundless energy never dropped a level.


◆ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

◆ January transfers All up for discussion in the boss’ pre-match press conference 👇 — Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 25, 2021

It may not be until next season where supporters are able to see the best of Martinelli. Given the style of footballer he is in terms of carrying the ball with pace and dribbling with either foot, all those technical qualities require time to embed themselves one again into competitive fixtures.

Against what will be a weakened right-back position on Tuesday, Martinelli has the chance to do what he does best: bully. His work-rate is exemplary, his actions are all made with instinct born out of a natural intelligence that leaves defenders without a second to adjust or contemplate their actions.

Even at 60% he offers what most other forwards in the squad don’t, and Tuesday provides a platform for him to express those characteristics. Not at his best yet, his sheer enthusiasm and desire will make for an intriguing contest.

All the darting runs he made in the first half of the FA Cup defeat can be tended to through Thomas Partey‘s vision and Emile Smith Rowe’s offensive triangles, while he may actually receive a pass in the first half from his No. 10 this time.

Full of confidence as is, Martinelli won’t need a goal at St. Mary’s to bring his sharpness back, just playing regularly will see that return. Aubameyang’s presence will be missed, not least as he’s finding the back of the net now, but Brazilian exuberance against a questionable Yan Valery may be the start of the path towards the 19-year-old who left English football smitten last season.

Chelsea board refused Frank Lampard’s request to sign Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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Frank Lampard wanted Chelsea to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Arsenal (AFP via Getty)

Chelsea’s hierarchy turned down Frank Lampard’s request to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Arsenal, according to reports.

Lampard was sacked by Chelsea on Monday having spent 18 months in charge at Stamford Bridge.

After an encouraging start to the season, Chelsea’s form hit a slump over the winter period and Lampard leaves with the team having lost five out of their last eight Premier League games.

Lampard had also been at odds with Chelsea’s board over potential transfers, and it’s understood that the 42-year-old’s insistence on signing West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, who was released by Chelsea at the age of 14, had annoyed members of the hierarchy.

But according to The Athletic, Lampard was also keen on bringing Aubameyang to Stamford Bridge a year ago.



The report claims that Lampard was hoping to capitalise on Aubameyang’s contract standoff with Arsenal as the striker had not signed a new deal with the Gunners at that point.

Frank Lampard wanted to capitalise on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract standoff with Arsenal (AMA/Getty)

However, Chelsea’s hierarchy had already targeted Timo Werner, who ended up making the move to Stamford Bridge in a £47.5 million deal last June.

It’s also claimed that Lampard was keen on signing Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski, but that was another move which was not given the green light by Chelsea’s board.

The Atheltic’s report also claims that Ben Chilwell was the only signing targeted by Lampard, according to an insider at Chelsea.

Chelsea are now set to officially announce Thomas Tuchel’s appointment on Tuesday and the German is expected to be in the dugout for the clash against Wolves on Wednesday.

Tuchel has been out of work for only a few months after he was sacked by Paris-Saint-Germain in December.

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