Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang woes could lead to unhappy Arsenal showdown with next few weeks crucial

This was supposed to be the moment Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sparked his season into life, but instead it left you wondering where the Arsenal captain goes from here.

For 85 minutes of the match against Everton at Goodison Park, Aubameyang was a spectator as he sat on the bench after being dropped in favour of Alexandre Lacazette.

He was thrown on at the end, 15 minutes after contract rebel Eddie Nketiah had been given the nod, and with the game tied at 1-1 you wondered if the script was written for him to be the hero.

In the end there was an injury-time winner, but it was Everton winger Demarai Gray who got it and instead Aubameyang’s brief cameo was summed up by him skewing a good chance wide with the final kick of the game.

He has now gone six Premier League matches without a goal, his longest run since he joined Arsenal in 2018, and the situation must be becoming a concern for Mikel Arteta.

“I think there will be a problem with Aubameyang off the back of the this game,” former Manchester United defender Gary Neville said on Sky Sports.

“I suspect, if Arteta could probably get money for Aubameyang and he could get someone else, they probably would. And I bet if Aubameyang could move on he probably would as well because it could maybe turn a little sour.”

The situation with Aubameyang, who still has 18 months left on his £250,000-a-week contract, is by no means at the untenable stage of Mesut Ozil’s final months at Arsenal, but the next few weeks should give us a good idea about how this journey may end.

Aubameyang is due to head to the Africa Cup of Nations with Gabon in January and, if his game-time remains limited in the build-up to that, then alarm bells will really ring.

Arteta has, in fairness, defended Aubameyang strongly in recent weeks, highlighting his work off the ball. But actions speak louder than words and the fact the 32-year-old played just five minutes at Goodison Park gives weight to the likes of Neville’s concerns.

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