Arteta has hit back at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang following the striker’s ugly Arsenal exit and move to Barcelona.
Mikel Arteta says he was the answer to the split that led to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s departure from Arsenal.
Last week, Arsenal and Aubameyang reached an agreement to end Aubameyang’s £350,000-a-week contract, allowing him to join Barcelona on a free transfer.
After being stripped of the captaincy and frozen out by Arteta last month for a violation of discipline, the 32-year-status old’s at the club became untenable.
Explaining his Arsenal exit at his Barcelona unveiling, Aubameyang said: ‘I think it was a problem just with him [Arteta]. He made the decision. I can’t say much more. He wasn’t happy, I stayed very calm and that’s it.’
Speaking for the first time about the striker’s departure, Arteta said: ‘I’m extremely grateful for what Auba has done at the club for his contribution since I have been here and the way I see myself in that relationship is the solution, not the problem.
‘I have been the solution. One hundred percent. I can look in the eye of anybody. I do a lot of things wrong for sure but the intention all the time is the best and not for me, it’s for the club and for the team.’
Responding directly to Aubameyang’s claim, Arteta said: ‘It’s his opinion and that’s his opinion and that’s why he said that and you have to respect that.’
Arteta was instrumental in persuading Aubameyang to sign a new deal in September 2020, and the Spaniard was only last October praising the striker’s work ethic and leadership.
But their relationship deteriorated rapidly, quickly leading to his exit.
Arteta said: ‘I think it ended up in the best possible way for everybody.” When things change and the context changes this is part of football. What we did here yesterday or a month ago is not relevant – it’s what we are doing today and what we are able or not able to do in the future and you have to make decisions.
‘We all made the decision that the best thing to do was to move on and now he plays for Barcelona. We have had a different kinds of meetings and it’s a decision we take collectively with the club, the player and his agent.’