Arsenal legend Lee Dixon tells Mikel Arteta to stick with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the bench

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mohamed Elneny look on in training ahead of Arsenal's Premier League clash with Brighton
Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has returned from his calf injury (Picture: Getty)

Lee Dixon believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s injury may have been a blessing in disguise and says it could do Arsenal’s captain ‘a bit of good’ to remain on the bench for the time being.

Aubameyang has had an immensely disappointing start to the season in front of goal, netting just three times in the Premier League, and the striker’s frustrations continued this month as a calf injury kept him out of Arsenal’s matches with Everton and Manchester City.

But Aubameyang was an unused substitute as the Gunners ended their miserable run of results with an impressive 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Boxing Day and could return to Mikel Arteta’s starting XI at Brighton this evening.

However, legendary former Arsenal full-back Dixon feels it could benefit the Gabon international to continue to watch on from the sidelines on the south coast.

‘Nobody is bigger than the club,’ Dixon told talkSPORT.

‘And maybe Mikel Arteta might look at the game at the weekend and say, “we did create some chances, we did this”.

‘It might just do him [Aubameyang] a bit of good to have a little step out of the team and just look from the sidelines.

‘When you watch a game from the sidelines you can sometimes learn more than you do when you’re on the pitch.

Arsenal legend Lee Dixon
Dixon reckons it would do Aubameyang ‘a bit of good’ to remain on the bench (Picture: Getty)

‘Your brain is so full of information when you’re playing; you don’t always see everything, you don’t always feel everything.

‘Sometimes when you just step back and you sit on the bench for a bit and you look…

‘He’s obviously a hugely talented footballer and we need his goals, but it might be a time for him just to look and assess the team.’

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks on during Arsenal's Premier League clash with Southampton
The striker has been sidelined since Arsenal’s match with Southampton (Picture: Getty)

Dixon continued: ‘You can actually see little ways of improving your own game when you’re sitting on the bench, because you’re watching other people and you’re seeing gaps appear from a different angle.

‘You go, “I can make that run next week”, or, “I know how the full-back does this”.

‘When I was playing I didn’t analyse Ian Wright’s runs because they just happened.

‘But if you were sitting on the sidelines and watched Thierry Henry or Wrighty or Dennis Bergkamp, you saw an awful lot more and it gives you a bigger and more colourful picture of that player.

‘So it might do him a bit of good to step out.

‘If they win their next two games and he doesn’t play then he [could] come back firing. That rest might do him good.’

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