Mikel Arteta talks Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah futures; wants commitment from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | Football News

Mikel Arteta has revealed that he is looking to resolve what he sees as a “cloud” of various problems looming over his Arsenal forward options.

Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah have shared early responsibilities in recent weeks for the Gunners, along with Gabriel Martinelli, but both are out of contract this summer.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also missed his last four games due to internal disciplinary action, which saw him stripped of the captain’s armband and forced to train away from the first team.

These inconsistencies and absences mean Arsenal will head to Norwich on Boxing Day with midfielder Emile Smith-Rowe as this season’s top scorer with eight goals in all competitions.

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Arsenal boss Mike Arteta defends his management style and says he is not dictatorial but wants the respect of all players after leaving striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out.

The Arsenal manager said: “We have a cloud and the cloud is there. At the moment we are unable to change it.

“We are working on it to try to make it as small as possible and as clear as possible, but it is the situation we are in because the contracts have details, times are difficult and we are trying to solve it.”

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Arteta is ruling out nothing about the future of Lacazette, who took over from the team captain in Aubameyang’s absence despite his contractual situation, or Carabao Cup hat-trick hero Nketiah.

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Both players have been the subject of media speculation, but Arteta says the transfers, given the remaining term of their contracts, could prove out of his control.

“It depends on each individual case, it depends on the situation of the player, the minutes he plays, his availability or the offer you have, but it’s something you have to consider,” added Arteta.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was barred from Arsenal's side against Southampton due to a discipline violation.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was barred from Arsenal’s side against Southampton due to a discipline violation.

“I’m not dictatorial or ruthless”

Doubts about Lacazette and Nketiah’s future are further complicated by the situation surrounding Aubameyang, whose disciplinary issues would have resulted from a belated return from Gabon where he was visiting his sick mother.

But Arteta dismissed claims of being a dictator as he claimed, “I don’t establish my authority by being dictatorial or ruthless.

“I only ask for respect and commitment. At this level if I don’t get it I pack my bags and go somewhere else because that’s the least I can ask for.

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“I’m sorry, but I expect this from everyone who works for the club. First of all myself, and the day I don’t, go through that door and go do something else. It’s clear like that.

“To be successful you have to be passionate about something and you want to represent a club of this size with its history, this is the minimum standard you have to lead.

“I will not ask anyone to put the ball in the corner of the posts every time they hit it, but I will ask them to do the right things every single day for this club. That’s for sure.”

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