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 English Premier League rivals Chelsea from Spanish LaLiga club Barcelona.
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.
Details of former Gabon international Aubameyang travelling 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.
He told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s league clash with Leicester City:
It’s a long time since that happened. I can’t go back each time there’s a series.
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.
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. 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. “The doctor came with bad news. Hopefully he will be back soon.