Mikel Arteta issues blunt warning to Arsenal forwards

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Mikel Arteta has warned his Arsenal forwards that it is time to step up in the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gabon international is set to be missing for the Gunners’ next three games after he was sent off in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend.

Aubameyang will be sidelined for Arsenal’s forthcoming games against Sheffield United and Chelsea FC in the Premier League, as well as the FA Cup fourth-round tie versus Bournemouth.

Arteta will be hoping for the likes of Alexandre Lacazette to step up for the Gunners in the coming games, with the France international not having scored for the north London side since the 2-2 draw with Standard Liege back on 12 December.

And the new Arsenal boss admits that his team need to tone down their reliance on Aubameyang for goals in the second part of the season.

Arteta is quoted as saying by Metro: “They [Arsenal’s other players] now have to make a step forward now he is not able to contribute to the team with goals.

“Someone else has to do it and I want to see that reaction too.”

He added: “Losing probably the most important player is never nice.

“We have other players that can play in that position. We will try to find a way and be as competitive as possible.”

Arsenal are currently in 10th place in the Premier League table and 11 points behind Chelsea FC in the race for a top-four finish this season.

Arteta is getting used to life at The Emirates after having been appointed as Unai Emery’s successor at the north London club last month.

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