Football

Arsenal’s Arteta hopes Aubameyang gets warm welcome if he joins Chelsea

Arsenal’s Arteta hopes Aubameyang gets warm welcome if he joins Chelsea
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said on Friday that he hopes former striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will receive a warm welcome to London should he complete a switch to Premier League rivals Chelsea from Spanish LaLiga club Barcelona.

ESPN have reported that Aubameyang is one of Chelsea’s targets before the transfer window ends, just a few months after his acrimonious exit from Arsenal following a period during which he was removed as captain for disciplinary issues and frozen out of the squad.

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Details of former Gabon international Aubameyang traveling to Barcelona without Arsenal’s permission emerged during Amazon Prime’s docuseries that covered the team’s 2021-22 campaign but Arteta sought to draw a line under the matter.

« It’s a long time since that happened. I can’t go back each time there’s a series, » he told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s league clash with Leicester City.

« I have made my comments on that. What’s been done has been to defend the club and put it in the best possible position.

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« Auba is an exceptional player. He did so much for us. I hope that he gets a good reception [if he returns] because he deserves that. »

Arteta said he was pleased with how defender Kieran Tierney had recovered from a knee injury last term that needed surgery.

« He played 15-20 minutes [in the 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace] last weekend and did well, » Arteta said. « He looks in perfect condition now and ready to go. »

But winger Reiss Nelson faces a spell out after sustaining a muscle issue.

“He felt something in training,” Arteta added. « The doctor came with bad news. Hopefully he will be back soon. »

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