Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang breaks silence on Arsenal exit and Mikel Arteta fallout

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw his contract terminated at Arsenal after a well-publicised with fallout with Mikel Arteta with the striker detailing how the saga played out.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has opened up on his Arsenal exit with Mikel Arteta hammering him after he returned late from a trip to pick up his mother.

The former Gunners captain endured a steep fall from grace – being fired at the Emirates just 18 months after he signed a new deal. He was left out of a game against Southampton in December and would never play for Arsenal again as he was frozen out of the group.

Eventually, the termination of his deal allowed him to join Barcelona, but not before a lengthy episode with Arteta, who accused Aubameyang of “putting a knife in his back”, despite approving a trip abroad.

The now Marseille star told Colinterview:

“It was during the COVID period and we were playing, I think, Everton. My season wasn’t great, we were struggling in the league and the day before the coach told us: ‘Look, it doesn’t matter if we win or not, you have a day off. But if you want to leave, you notify yourself before the match because you have to follow the health safety rules.’

‘My mother a few months before, had a stroke, it was going to be Christmas time so I went to see the coach and I said to him: ‘Coach, I’m coming to see you because I’d like to leave, I’m going to go pick up my mother to bring her back for the holidays.’ He tells me no problem.”

Upon returning Aubameyang had to go through various Covid protocols but was slightly delayed in getting back to Arsenal. He also took a test later than planned with Arteta then tearing into his player – which proved to be the end of their relationship.

Aubameyang recalled: “I arrive, the coach finishes his meeting and then he grabs me and he completely tears into me, he shouts at me like I’m crazy, he says: ‘You put a knife in my back. You can’t do that to me given the times we’re going through.’

…At that moment, I tell myself that I’m not going to answer him because it’s going to end angrily.

“I didn’t go partying. He knows very well the reason for my departure so at that moment I don’t understand why he is lecturing me like this. I go home and the doctor calls me and says ‘Tomorrow, the coach doesn’t want you to be there’.”

Arteta continued to be quizzed on the saga ahead of the January transfer window with the striker revealing how he was gradually cast aside.

He added: “The days pass and the doctor tells me: ‘Look, he doesn’t want you to be with the group anymore, but you will be able to come and train but separately.’

I say to myself ok… And then afterwards, he calls me and we have a meeting so he can explain to me that one, he’s taking away the captain’s armband, and two, I’m not training any more with the group.”

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