Arteta to use perfect £6m transfer decision to replace Aubameyang

During Arsenal’s encounter against West Ham, Mikel Arteta seemed like a man on a mission.

The Spaniard normally cuts an impassioned figure from the sidelines as he gives his players instructions, but he seemed much more animated on Wednesday night.

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The focus in the build-up to the game had been on Arteta’s decision to remove Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s captaincy following his latest disciplinary incident in the build-up to Arsenal’s game against Southampton.

On Tuesday, the squad was told of the decision to remove Aubameyang as captain, according to

It might have easily disrupted team morale and reflected in the team’s performance on the field, but Arsenal’s players appeared to be just as pumped up for the game as Arteta.

“It’s nice to see the people cheering us on,” Gabriel Martinelli stated after the game.

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“They were putting up a good fight, and we were just waiting for the right opportunity.” Thank you for your help, Laca [Alexandre Lacazette]! Every time, I want to play.

“We work as a unit.” We’re all in this together. Mikel [Arteta] and the rest of the team will select who will be captain.”

Any detractors who believe Arteta made the wrong decision by leaving his star striker out of the squad will be silenced by Martinelli’s Aubameyang-esque goal in the second half.

Indeed, Arsenal’s choice to invest £6 million on Martinelli two years ago may be one of the most significant transfers in the club’s recent history.

“His overall comprehension of the game is improving,” Arteta remarked.

“Sometimes he displays top-notch energy and quality.”

While the key word here is “sometimes,” Martinelli is starting to show signs of his unique skills after returning from a significant knee injury that slowed his growth last season.

Arteta’s decision may have been aided by Aubameyang’s poor form in recent months, but with Martinelli waiting in the wings, Arsenal now have a man capable of making the transition from substitute to first-team regular.

Emile Smith Rowe, as well as Bukayo Saka, who once again combined superbly with his compatriot, deserve special recognition for their outstanding goals.

The Premier League’s youngest squad is gradually becoming into an attractive team capable of grinding out results, as they moved up to fourth place on Wednesday night after putting aside another unwelcome distraction.

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