The former Manchester United defender has claimed that the exit of the former Arsenal captain has actually helped the Gunners in their pursuit of Champions League qualification
The former Manchester United defender has claimed that the exit of the former Arsenal captain has actually helped the Gunners in their pursuit of Champions League qualification.
Rio Ferdinand has issued his support to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as some fans have criticised his decision to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the January transfer window.
The former Gunners captain has taken to life at new club FC Barcelona with relative ease and has shown signs of the kind of form that once made him so potent in north London.
Aubameyang has found the net five times in his last three games for the Blaugrana, which is in stark contrast to the kind of return he was offering Arsenal towards the end of his time at the Emirates.
The Gabon international scored none in his final six games for the Gunners before he was exiled from the first-team fold in early December following what was described as his “latest disciplinary breach”.
This inevitably led to a complete breakdown in his relationship with Arteta, who went on to claim he tried to be the “solution” between the pair after Aubameyang publicly claimed the Spaniard was the one with the problem.
Despite the fact Arteta opted against signing a replacement striker ahead of a crucial second half of the season ahead, Arsenal have hardly missed Aubameyang since his departure.
Ferdinand feels like his exit may have been to the benefit of the Gunners.
The former Manchester United star told his Vibe with Five podcast: “I just feel he looks happy again.
“I saw him at Arsenal for a number of months where he just didn’t look happy.
“People undervalue and underestimate how important your happiness is when you’re a footballer or any job that you’ve got to have that element of happiness and fulfilment and he just wasn’t having that at Arsenal.
“Both have benefited from him leaving. Arteta has got even more of a stranglehold on the squad, more respect, they know where they stand now, there’s a line that they don’t go beyond, we don’t know the details of that.”
Ferdinand continued by claiming that Arteta will have successfully proved his point if Arsenal do secure Champions League football for next year.
“Nobody has doubted the rate at which he’s [Aubameyang] always scored goals in his career.
“There’s obviously something that’s gone on behind the scenes where Mikel Arteta has said ‘I’m not having that you’re going to have to go’.
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