'Mikel Arteta was right to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang'

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A Premier League legend has insisted that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta's decision to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a good call.

The Gunners parted ways with Gabonese star on the deadline day of the January transfer window, with the deal being officially confirmed a few days later.

This came after the striker had a fallout with manager Arteta, which resulted in him being frozen out of the team and stripped of the captain's armband.

With his contract having been terminated by mutual consent, the marksman joined the Catalan outfit on a deal until June 2025, and also agreed to a pay cut in order to make the transfer happen.

Scroll through the mini-gallery above to see four players who left Arsenal on a free transfer in January

The 32-year-old has had a sensational start to life in Spain, bagging five goals in his first six appearances for the Blaugrana, including a hat-trick against Valencia two weeks ago.

However, despite his prolific form since departing, former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand believes Arteta's decision to let the forward go was the right one for both parties.

"I just feel he [Aubameyang] looks happy again. I saw him at Arsenal for a number of months where he just didn't look happy," Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel Vibe with Five.

"People undervalue and underestimate how important your happiness is when you're a footballer or any job that you've got, 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.

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"But also Aubameyang has gained, he's got some love back, he's got some attention, he's got some belief back from a manager that's driven that into him by a manager who really wants him to be there and appreciates his footballing ability.

"Nobody has doubted the rate at which he's always scored goals in his career.

"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."

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