Arsenal boss Arteta to recall Aubameyang at £ 350,000 a week


FORMER Arsenal favorite Tony Woodcock believes Mikel Arteta will have no choice but to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back from the cold.

The former Gunners striker attacked Aubameyang – who was stripped of his captain’s post by Arteta – for “disrespecting” the club’s history and traditions.

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Arteta stripped Aubameyang of the Arsenal captaincyCredit: Getty
Woodcock thinks Arteta should bring Aubameyang back from the cold

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Woodcock thinks Arteta should bring Aubameyang back from the coldCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The Gabonese striker has been abandoned in the last two games after his late return from an authorized trip to France.

He only signed a three-year contract extension last September for around £ 350,000 a week.

And Woodcock, who was Arsenal’s top scorer in each of his four seasons at the club from 1983 to 1986, believes an olive branch will need to be extended if North Londoners cannot sell it.

Speaking to SunSport, the England 42-cap forward said: “Aubameyang is costing the club a lot of money, so to get a return on what he needs to score goals.

“This is the only way for him to reimburse Arsenal for giving him this extended contract.

“I would like to think things could calm down, and I would like to think he could learn some lessons and apologize.

“If that doesn’t happen you have an unhappy player costing the club an absolute fortune.

“Then you’ll have people swimming around thinking they can get it for next to nothing, and the return on their investment will be really poor.

“But he’s 32… someone isn’t going to pay huge sums to buy him and then pay his big paycheck on top of that.

“Mikel Arteta did the right thing, but you have to see how it plays out because you don’t want to throw a lot of money out the window.

“With what he’s cost over the years and what he’s owed over the life of his contract, the only way to get Aubameyang back is if he scores a lot of goals.”

Alexandre Lacazette had the armband against West Ham on Wednesday night, but Bukayo Saka, Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Kieran Tierney have all been tipped to be the long-term skipper.

Woodcock, 66, says there is no obvious choice to take the armband but the Nottingham Forest legend insists the Arsenal boss made the right choice to uphold the club’s principles.

He added: “It’s the only thing Arteta could have done. If you run out of time in your timing something else will happen later.

“It seems there has been a lack of discipline on more than one occasion. You have to show a little more respect whether you are a captain or not.

“You have the academy kids coming in and you tell them Arsenal is the club with tradition and history, that you should wear this jersey with pride.

“So you don’t show up late for work or say you couldn’t come back that day.

“There might have been a valid reason, but then you pick up the phone and communicate.

Arteta saw his side beat West Ham 2-0 on Wednesday night

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Arteta saw his side beat West Ham 2-0 on Wednesday nightCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

“When I joined them from Cologne in 1982, it was a question of behavior.

“The captain would choose whether you wore long or short sleeved shirts, and we were told we weren’t allowed to wear facial hair because it was 100 years old. It was an institution.

“When you represent Arsenal you have to be on top of your game, on and off the pitch. “

Woodcock made a name for himself in Forest on Brian Clough’s winning team, playing on the 1979 European Cup winning team.

Alongside Viv Anderson and Gary Birtles, he was one of three members of this Nottinghamshire-born team.

And their stories are the subject of a new documentary released in early 2022 on the new 360 Sports TV streaming platform.

Launched last week with over 300 hours of content and a host of other films in the works, it’s the first service dedicated solely to sports documentaries.

Adam Lallana, Martin O’Neill and rugby heavyweights Kyle Sinckler, Jack Clifford and Michael Young are also on board.

And Woodcock, who is a director and founding shareholder, said: “If you win the Champions League now, you are lucky to have three players from the same country.

“And you look at the class of 79… we had three guys from Nottingham.

“Gary Birtles was an upholsterer who came, Viv was from the second largest municipal estate in Europe where he was one of only two black families, and I came from a pit village that had a certain reputation.

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“Everyone seems to love sports documentaries, but we thought we could do it differently.

“You might see Michael Jordan and David Beckham, but there are some really great stories of incredible effort and determination.

“I see Arsenal making a behind-the-scenes documentary. If we had made one in Forest, it wouldn’t have been allowed – we would have had to put it on the dark web!

360 Sports TV monthly subscription is £ 4.99 per month (UK). Get a 7 day trial.