'We were brave not to do it' – Arteta explains why Arsenal didn't replace Aubameyang in January transfer window

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Mikel Arteta Getty/GOAL

Arsenal were brave not to sign a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January, says coach Mikel Arteta.

The Gabon international was allowed to leave at the end of the transfer window to join Barcelona amid a tense end to his spell at the Gunners.

Aubameyang had been dropped from the squad because of disciplinary problems and left on a free transfer, without a new striker coming in.

What has been said?

Arteta acknowledged that the club's fans may have been annoyed by the lack of new attacking signings and believes it was a brave call by the club.

He told Sky Sports: "We always make decisions in the best interests of the club and to get the best performances from the team.

"We made that decision as three parties. One was the club, one was Auba and the other was Barcelona. The three of us believed it was the right thing to do."

He added: "[Angering Arsenal fans] was a possibility but I think when you have a clear direction and process of how you make your decisions, you have to be ruthless.

"You have to have a certain courage and consistency in those decisions. If one decision is to only bring in players we can afford, who are going to make the team much better straight away, and who are sustainable for our future, then that should be the case.

"So, even if you are tempted to do something, but you think it's going to bring you trouble in the coming months or years, you should not do it. I think we were brave not to do it.

"We did what we had to do and what was our responsibility as people who are managing this football club.

"But whether it was good or not, we will only know at the end of the season - and it will depend on whether we have won enough matches."

How did Aubameyang perform?

Aubameyang, 32, spent four years in total with the Gunners after joining from Borussia Dortmund.

But his final months in north London did not go well, as he netted just four times in 14 Premier League appearances.

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His last match for Arteta's team came against Everton in early December last year and he was subsequently dropped by Arteta.

He is off to a solid start at Barcelona, however, having scored five times in six matches for Xavi's team.

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