‘No-one is undroppable’ – Mikel Arteta sends warning to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but backs Arsenal skipper to end goal drought

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League
The Gabon striker has struggled in front of goal this season (Picture: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta says out-of-form striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not assured of his place in the Arsenal team despite captaining the side, but has backed him to end his goal drought.

The Gabon international has not scored a goal from open play in the Premier League since the opening day of the season, with a penalty against Manchester United his only contribution in his last 888 minutes of action.

Arteta has resisted the temptation to boost Aubameyang’s confidence with a run-out against Dundalk in the Europa League on Thursday, with the 31-year-old left at home along with a number of other first-team players.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Aubameyang has cut a forlorn figure in recent weeks (Picture: Getty Images)

The Arsenal boss is confident that the club’s topscorer for the last two seasons will re-find his shooting boots, though did concede that Aubameyang needs to justify his place in the team.

Asked if the Gunners skipper was undroppable, Arteta replied: ‘No-one is undroppable.

‘At the end of the day you have to find the right players to win football matches.

‘But we cannot forget what Auba has done for this club and what he has done in recent months, or a year ago.

‘And as well because I see how he is training, how he is behaving, how much he wants to turn this situation around.

‘And when I see that type of hunger, I stay strong to support that player with his status in the team and the performances that he has provided for this group.’

Asked how Aubameyang has reacted to his recent struggles, Arteta continued: ‘Listen, today and this week, the response and reaction I saw from the players after the match, I cannot be any prouder.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Mikel Arteta Arsenal v Charlton Athletic: Friendly
Arteta has been happy with Aubameyang’s performances and attitude in training (Picture: Getty)

‘I know how difficult it is for everyone at the moment, after losing a derby you can be completely down, and I saw a completely different team. A team that wants to fight, that is united, that has a big belief in what they are trying to do and they want to push themselves harder and harder.

‘And Auba was one of the main guys there and today he was walking around the place with an energy that wouldn’t be associated to a team and a player that is suffering at the moment. So for me, this is the way we have to approach it.’

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