Friday, May 20, 2022

Wright questions Arsenal for giving Aubameyang £350k-a-week deal if he was ‘doing things they didn’t like’

ARSENAL legend Ian Wright has questioned the decision to hand Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a lucrative contract extension given his poor discipline.

Aubameyang has joined Barcelona as a free agent after his £350,000-a-week Emirates contract was terminated on deadline day.

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Ian Wright is disappointed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mikel Arteta could not settle their differencesCredit: Getty
Wright is concerned where the goals will come from following Aubameyang's departure

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Wright is concerned where the goals will come from following Aubameyang’s departureCredit: Alamy

And Wright is gutted that the fans’ favourite could not sort out his differences with Arteta before it came to having to leave.

The man who scored 185 goals in seven seasons at Highbury said: “I didn’t think it would come to this. I thought it would be resolved because it was only a year ago that Auba signed that new contract.

“If there was something wrong with what he was doing, there would have been a build-up of misdemeanours for the manager to say ‘let’s not sign him because he’s been doing this or that.’

“If they knew he was doing things they didn’t like, why did they sign him up for so much money and then a year later he’s gone?

“I don’t know what’s happened between the two of them and I’m not really bothered, but I’m concerned that it couldn’t be healed at a time when we need goals.

“Rather than everything being black and white, some other managers can get into grey areas where they say ‘OK, maybe this guy’s out of order but I need him.’

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“That’s what Conte did at Chelsea with Diego Costa. They won the league and the next day he sent Costa a text saying he didn’t want him at the club any more.

“So I’m very sad that it’s come to this with Auba because I think he was made for Arsenal.”

Arteta made the decision to strip Aubameyang of the captaincy and exclude him from the first-team after returning back late from international duty.

It was the latest in a string of bad behaviour, which also included the striker getting a lockdown tattoo that broke Covid protocols when he was visiting his sick mother.

Aubameyang was also dropped for a North London derby clash after frequently turning up late and a week before the start of this season he threw a birthday party for his son and ended up contracting Covid, which meant he missed the opening game against Brentford.

But Wright seemingly would have forgiven Aubameyang due to his quality on the pitch.

He added: “If you’ve got Auba, you structure everything for him just to score goals, like they did at Dortmund.

“I’m devastated we couldn’t do that for him.

“He’s taken a massive pay cut to go to Barcelona, so to all the people saying ‘he signed a contract and just clocked off’ we need to clear up the fact that he got offered the same money he was on at Arsenal to go to Saudi Arabia.

“We’re talking about a very colourful individual who plays football with a smile on his face and people can easily get that mixed up with him being this party animal.

“He’s not like that at all. He’s a family man that likes colourful clothes and colourful cars. And he scores goals.

“But as much as I love Auba, I feel in the current climate you have to back the manager and the chance he has taken.

“I agree with him moving on because I think it’s best for everybody.”

Speaking on the Wrighty’s House podcast, the former Arsenal and England striker admitted that Aubameyang’s departure has really cranked up the pressure on the young forwards now charged with getting the club back into the Champions League.

He said: “Mikel is taking a massive chance on goals coming from Saka, Smith Rowe and Martinelli but none of them are proven scorers like Aubameyang and where’s the backup if that doesn’t work?

“Lacazette is missing chances and I think Nicolas Pepe might be in the last chance saloon considering the amount of games he’s played.

“I watched their last game against Burnley and didn’t see anything in that team to make me feel I could see what they were doing to score.”

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