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Arteta sends clear message on Aubameyang-Nketiah Arsenal futures

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah
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The Gunners duo’s futures have both been clouded in doubt recently for different reasons.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he has ‘never discussed’ selling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, nor does he want Eddie Nketiah to leave the club.

Speculation about Aubameyang, for one, has been rife over the past week. The Gabonese star’s six-match goalless streak has coincided with a dip in results for Arsenal recently. Therefore, to the surprise of some, Arteta benched his captain in Monday’s 2-1 defeat at Everton.

While Aubameyang came on as a late substitute, Gary Neville suggested there could be a ‘problem’ between the striker and manager that could lead to a quick-fire January sale.

“Really, we have never discussed something like this,” said Arteta of Neville’s theory in a press conference.

“When players are under difficulty, what we have to give is support.

The Gunners boss added: “I have a very good relationship with my players. Everyone has to understand that I always do the best for this club and for this team. And often if that can benefit any individuals, I will always do it. The decisions are not personal, the decisions are just to get performance, and the best out of the team. That’s it.”

What about Nketiah?

The 22-year-old striker is out of contract at the end of the season and hasn’t committed to a new deal, having made just two Premier League appearances off the bench this term.

“Eddie has six months left on his contract and we are having discussions with him and the agent to try to find the best possible way [forward],” said Arteta.

“Eddie knows how much I rate him, how much I like him and how much I want him to stay at the club. He’s our player, he’s someone that we raised, who has the Arsenal DNA in his blood. He loves the club so much and his reason is that he wants to play more football.

“That’s the genuine reason. It’s nothing to do with anything else, he wants more minutes and he thinks he’s capable of contributing much more. And that’s why I like him.

“At the same time, I have a strong feeling with him that he can really help the team.”

Arsenal are in action on Saturday at home to Southampton in the Premier League.