Mikel Arteta urges Arsenal fans to 'thank' Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of Chelsea clash

Mikel Arteta urges Arsenal fans to 'thank' Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of Chelsea clash

Mikel Arteta has claimed that Arsenal fans should “say thank you and be grateful” when welcoming Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back to Emirates Stadium.

The Gabonese frontman is due back in north London on Tuesday for the first time since his acrimonious departure for Barcelona in February 2022.

 Aubameyang had been club captain with the Gunners, scoring 92 goals for them through 163 appearances, but was stripped of the armband and ushered through the exits following a breach of club discipline.

 He has since returned to England at Chelsea and delivered a “nothing personal” message to Arsenal ahead of his first reunion with them at Stamford Bridge in November.

Arteta says there will be no ill feeling on his part when Aubameyang returns to the Emirates, telling reporters of his message to Gunners fans ahead of a meeting with the 33-year-old – who may not receive the warmest of welcomes: “Let’s say thank you. Pay respect and gratitude for what he was. He was an incredible player for us, scored a lot of goals, he was our captain, and he deserves that. Say thank you and be grateful.”

Arsenal head into their midweek meeting with Chelsea without a win in four, with that untimely wobble dropping them off top spot in the Premier League table, but Artreta remains in bullish mood. 

He added on the challenges facing his side during the run-in: “We still have the nicest part of the season to play with five games to go. When I look at it, this is not over. We can still achieve the Premier League because there are five games to go and a lot of things are going to happen still. I’d pay a lot of money next season to be in this position, believe me.”

After taking on Chelsea, Arsenal will complete their 2022-23 campaign with fixtures against Newcastle, Brighton, Nottingham Forest and Wolves.

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