Troy Deeney claims Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang letting Arsenal dispute affect form

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been accused by Troy Deeney of letting his contract negotiations get in the way of his football.

Aubameyang entered into a lengthy contract stand-off with Arsenal last summer just after lifting the FA Cup and Community Shield.

The forward was entering into the final year of his deal and had shown no signs of signing an extended deal.

After a long back-and-forth between the two parties, Aubameyang put pen to paper on a bumper new contract worth a reported £55million over three years.

Since then, however, he’s struggled to find top form and was recently dropped by Mikel Arteta over a disciplinary issue.

Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has struggled for form this season

And Deeney believes he’s still being affected by the “contract stuff” before the season began.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he explained that he could tell during Sunday’s draw with West Ham that he’s not his usual self.

“He wasn’t great yesterday and I think there was a moment just before he came off where Lacazette gave him the ball on the left,” Deeney said.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed a new three-year contract in 2020
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed a new three-year contract in 2020

“Normally, he’d have a touch and shot and he took one, two, three touches and got caught out. That’s when you know when someone’s not in their normal rhythm.”

“Let’s be honest he’s a top finisher but normally it’s one touch, shoot.

“Normally strikers have a favoured position and that’s his in the box and he’s going through one of those moments. He had a short pre-season and the contract stuff affected him.”

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Deeney went on to praise Arteta’s response to Aubameyang turning up late to a pre-match meeting.

He continued: “I think Arteta handled it perfectly. If he was late, whether it was 30 minutes of 30 seconds, he was still late.

“He certainly made a statement because if he’d lost that north London derby he’d have been absolutely hammered for that. I think he set a statement and said it doesn’t matter who you are.”

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