Mikel Arteta says he is “right behind” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang amid the Arsenal forward’s struggles which have led to claims he is “past his best”.
The Gunners captain’s lucrative contract sifned in the summer has ramped up the pressure on Aubameyang, who’s been far less prolific this season than at any other time in his career.
And Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp said: “Aubameyang is past his best. He’s going to have moments; he’s going to get hat-tricks.
“But when I watch him sometimes, it’s like he’s lost his superpower.
“I saw him run past people when he first came to the Premier League. I saw him run past people at Dortmund. Now I’m seeing a player who looks like he’s going to get bullied.”
In response, Arteta told reporters: “I didn’t see those comments. I’ve heard about them.
“I’m here to support every single player and that is what I try to do all the time.
“I try to give them the best possible advice and when they have a difficult moment, stay right behind them and that’s what we try to do always.
The Spaniard added on Aubameyang, who scored his first Premier League hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Leeds but has since gone two games without finding the target: “I think the best way to talk is always on the pitch.
“Seven days before when he scored the hat-trick and he could have scored four or five against Leeds, he was again the main man.
“He could have scored a hat-trick against Benfica easily with his qualities and it would have been different.
“At the end [of the day] it’s about putting the ball in the back of the net for him and that’s how he gets joy.”