'Aubameyang could come back firing' - Spell on the sidelines would benefit Arsenal striker, says Dixon

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal 2020-21
The former Gunners defender thinks Mikel Arteta should hold the Gabonese marksman back for a while so he can reassess his game

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would benefit from an extended spell on the sidelines, according to Lee Dixon, who thinks the Arsenal striker "could come back firing" after a good rest.

Aubameyang scored 25 goals for Arsenal last season, including a double in the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea, cementing his status as one of the top strikers in English football in the process.

However, the Gabon international has been unable to live up to the same high standards in 2020-21 with his loss of form coinciding with the Gunners' alarming slip towards the relegation zone.

The 31-year-old, who signed a bumper contract extension through to 2023 in September, has found the net in just three of his 13 Premier League appearances this season and was only named on the bench for the London derby clash with Chelsea at the weekend.

Aubameyang's absence during the 3-1 victory was predominantly down to the fact he has only just recovered from a calf issue, but Dixon thinks he should remain among the substitutes for the next few weeks in order to reflect on his role in the team.

The former Arsenal defender has suggested that Mikel Arteta should stick with the forward-line that delivered a much-needed three points against the Blues, while insisting that Aubameyang is more likely to rediscover his best form if he takes a "step back".

“Nobody is bigger than the club,” Dixon told talkSPORT. “Maybe Mikel Arteta might look at the game at the weekend and say, ‘we did create some chances, we did this’.

“It might just do him [Aubameyang] a bit of good to have a little step out of the team and just look from the sidelines.

“When you watch a game from the sidelines you can sometimes learn more than you do when you’re on the pitch. Your brain is so full of information when you’re playing; you don’t always see everything, you don’t always feel everything.

“He’s obviously a hugely talented footballer and we need his goals, but it might be a time for him just to look and assess the team.

“You can actually see little ways of improving your own game when you’re sitting on the bench, because you’re watching other people and you’re seeing gaps appear from a different angle.

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“When I was playing I didn’t analyse Ian Wright’s runs because they just happened, but if you were sitting on the sidelines and watched Thierry Henry or Wrighty or Dennis Bergkamp, you saw an awful lot more and it gives you a bigger and more colourful picture of that player.

“So it might do him a bit of good to step out. If they win their next two games and he doesn’t play then he [could] come back firing. That rest might do him good.”

Arsenal will back in action against Brighton at Amex Stadium on Tuesday night, before their focus shifts to a meeting with West Brom at The Hawthorns on January 2.