Arsenal chiefs wanted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to return to squad after dramatic Mikel Arteta fall-out

·1-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

Arsenal technical director Edu and the club’s executive team were initially pushing for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to be reintegrated into the squad before terminating his contract in January.

Aubameyang was stripped of the captaincy in December, following a latest disciplinary breach, and he mutually terminated his contract to join Barcelona the following month.

Aubameyang was dropped and forced to train alone, but new footage from Amazon Prime Video’s fly-on-the-wall documentary, All or Nothing: Arsenal, has revealed how Edu initially pushed for him to return to the squad.

“We have to talk to Aubameyang and to Mikel [Arteta]… he has to come back to the squad and help us until the end of the season,” Edu said in a meeting with director of football operations Richard Garlick and chief executive Vinai Venkatesham.

“We are going to have to reintegrate him, we have to,” said Venkatesham.

Edu, however, replied: “We don’t think that’s going to be easy, but we have to see. But beware, downstairs, the relationship is zero.”

Arsenal eventually agreed as a club that the best plan was to get rid of Aubameyang, with terminating his contract the preferred option.

“We have two options: loan or terminate his contract,” said Edu during another meeting with Garlick. “Two [options], because nobody is going to come here and buy the player.”

Garlick supported Edu’s assessment and said: “He’s a fantastic player but we don’t want him coming back, we want a clean break. Long-term, the club is in a much better position.”