The Gunners boss made a surprising decision to drop the main man from his starting XI for the crunch clash at the Emirates.
Jose Mourinho was “not surprised at all” to see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped to the bench for the north London derby on Sunday.
Aubameyang has been far from his clinical best this season over the past few months, having struggled for form and fitness.
However, with 14 goals scored in 29 matches across all competitions this season, he remains his side’s main source of goals.
It was, therefore, rather unexpected of Mikel Arteta to start Alexandre Lacazette ahead of the Gabonese in the 2-1 victory over Tottenham.
Arteta, who made four changes to the team that was held to a 1-1 draw against Burnley last weekend, refused to give too much away on his decision pre-match but said that the 31-year-old striker was dropped due to disciplinary issues rather.
“No, not surprised at all. They went to Leicester without him, they went to Leicester with Lacazette. Lots of matches,” said Mourinho on Aubameyang’s exclusion, via Football London.
“They have also, like we have, ambitions in the Europa League. Aubameyang played 90 or 80 something against Olympiacos. Lacazette didn’t play.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all. They have very good players.”