Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is desperate to get one over on Mikel Arteta when the pair come face to face for the first time since the striker’s acrimonious departure from Arsenal on Sunday.
The Gabon international enjoyed one of the most prolific periods of his career during Arteta’s first few months as Arsenal boss with his goals responsible for an unlikely triumph two years ago.
After a series of disciplinary breaches the relationship between the pair deteriorated to such an extent that Aubameyang was effectively frozen out, saw his contract terminated and joined Barcelona on a free transfer.
Aubameyang subsequently helped the Catalan giants qualify for the but found himself a victim of circumstance in the summer, joining on deadline day with Barcelona keen to cash in given their perilous financial plight.
The 33-year-old fanned the flames ahead of this weekend’s London derby by declaring himself ‘a blue’ in a promotional advert for BT Sport, but according to he bears no ill feeling towards Arsenal, but the same cannot be said of Arteta.
Indeed, Aubameyang is said to have been minded to join Chelsea, in part, down to the opportunity to get one over his old manager whom he hasn’t spoken to since he left the current Premier League leaders nearly 12 months ago.
Aubameyang is said to have been shocked to learn Arteta had been compiling a dossier on his transgressions by watching the Amazon documentary ‘All or Nothing’ which aired back in August.
Moreover, the former Borussia Dortmund star is said to feel he was scapegoated by Arteta after a series of poor results last season saw the pressure mount on a manager who would go on to sign a three-year contract extension, despite failing to secure a top four finish after sanctioning Aubameyang’s departure.
Arteta was questioned about facing Aubameyang again after Arsenal secured top spot in their Europa League group following last night’s 1-0 win over FC Zurich.
When asked about Aubameyang’s statement in the BT Sport promo, Arteta replied: ‘You expect players to do that.
‘If you ask any of our players how they feel about where they are, they will say the same.’
Asked how dangerous Aubameyang could be against Arsenal, Arteta said: ‘Very dangerous.
‘If Auba has something, it’s the ability to put the ball in the back of the net and he’s going to be doing that until the day that he decides he’s had enough of football.
‘We will have to look first of all at what Chelsea do and try to put a plan together to avoid that.’
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