Mikel Arteta praises Arsenal players after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tribute against Southampton
Mikel Arteta has said that Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ‘having some difficult times’ and praised his players for their tribute to him during the win over Southampton on Tuesday.
Aubameyang, 31, missed Saturday’s FA Cup defeat at St Mary’s for personal family reasons and wasn’t part of the squad in the same fixture as the Gunners beat the Saints 3-1 in the Premier League.
Goals from Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette helped Arsenal overcome their tough opponents and all three players made a tribute to the skipper during their celebrations and after the game on social media.
Saka made a heart shape with his hands towards the TV cameras, Pepe posted a photo of his celebration on Instagram with the caption (in French): “for you my brother”, while Lacazette made a no.14 gesture with his fingers in tribute to Aubameyang’s squad number.
“I love how they support each other and how they just protect each other,” said Arteta after the game.
It’s not known when Aubameyang will return to the squad as he is given extended leave to deal with his personal family matters.
Arsenal face league leaders Manchester United on Saturday and remain confident that Kieran Tierney will be passed fit for the match after the Scotland international missed Tuesday’s win due to suffering from a tight calf muscle.