Arteta denies Aubameyang fall-out; questions Covid rules

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has denied falling out with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the forward was dropped last time out.

The Gunners were beaten 2-1 by struggling Everton on Monday night with Aubameyang dropped to the bench after a series of below-par appearance.

The Gabonese forward has just four Premier League goals in Arsenal’s rollercoaster season so far.

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Arteta dropping his captain to the bench raised rumours of a fall-out but the Arsenal boss was quick to deny a rift when he spoke to the media ahead of their fixture with Southampton on Saturday .

“I have a very good relationship with my players. I always do the best for the club and the team. The decision is not personal, the decision is just performance and to get the best out of the team,” said Arteta.

“We have never discussed something like this [selling Aubameyang in January]. When players are having difficult what we have to give is support.”

The Spaniard also questioned the Premier Leagues Covid-19 protocols after Tottenham’s game with brighton on Sunday was called opff after a number of postive cases in the Spurs camp.

Arsenal had a break-out of cases before the first game of the season but played anyway. The Gunners lost the fixture 2-0 to recently promoted Brentford and Arteta thinks the Premier League should follow UEFA’s rulings and only call games off after a certain number of positive results.

“I think the guidance is clear. It’s about the decision-making that goes the same way for everybody. This is what we have to hope for,” said the Spaniard.

“That [the Brentford game] is in the past. We have more people vaccinated and we know more about the situation. We keep knowing more about the situation.

“But [adopting Uefa’s rules] would be really, really helpful.”

Asked whether the rules are too vague at the moment, Arteta added: “Well I think it is. You don’t know when you have to play and when you don’t. We have some examples.”

Arteta also provided an update on the contract situation of young forward Eddie Nketiah who has rejected Arsenal’s offers so far.

“We are having discussions with him and his agent. His reason [to look elsewhere] is that he wants to play more football.”

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