Ferdinand explains how Arteta, Auba have both benefitted from split

Jason Soutar
Rio Ferdinand during a BT broadcast

Rio Ferdinand believes both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mikel Arteta have benefitted from the former’s Arsenal departure.

Aubameyang was stripped of the Gunners captaincy last December following a ‘disciplinary breach’.

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After he lost the armband, the Gabon international did not play for Arsenal again and left to join Barcelona during the January transfer window.

Since moving to La Liga, Aubameyang has scored five times in six appearances for the Blaugrana.

And Man Utd legend Ferdinand is delighted to see the 32-year-old playing with a smile on his face, whilst explaining why his departure has also benefitted Arsenal boss Arteta.

“I just feel he looks happy again,” he told his Vibe with Five podcast (via the Mirror).

“I saw him at Arsenal for a number of months where he just didn’t look happy.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta shakes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's hand

“People undervalue and underestimate how important your happiness is when you’re a footballer or any job that you’ve got to have that element of happiness and fulfilment and he just wasn’t having that at Arsenal.

“Both have benefited from him leaving. Arteta has got even more of a stranglehold on the squad, more respect, they know where they stand now, there’s a line that they don’t go beyond, we don’t know the details of that.”

Ferdinand continued by saying Arteta’s decision will be justified if Arsenal finish inside the top four this season.

“Nobody has doubted the rate at which he’s [Aubameyang] always scored goals in his career,” he continued.

“There’s obviously something that’s gone on behind the scenes where Mikel Arteta has said ‘I’m not having that you’re going to have to go’.

“It’s worked out for each other. If Arsenal finish fourth Arteta is totally justified in what he’s done.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal have earmarked Lille forward Jonathan David as their ‘priority signing’ this summer, according to Fichajes.

The Gunners need to sign at least one new striker this summer. They are short on options after Aubameyang left last month.

Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are still at the club but both players are out of contract this summer.