Some Arsenal players are disgruntled with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Some Arsenal players are reportedly unhappy with the club's new recruits.
Arsenal have lost their last four games, and are on their worst run in over 15 years. Arsene Wenger has come under intense pressure, and the players are feeling the strain, holding meetings to try to get to the bottom of the team's troubles.
According to Matt Hughes, writing in The Times, a divide is starting to develop in the dressing room, and questions have been asked of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The pair arrived at the club in January - Aubameyang as Arsenal's most expensive transfer ever, and Mkhitaryan as part of the swap deal for Alexis Sanchez - but both have failed to make much of an impact so far.
The report claims that the wage gap between the pair and most of the dressing room has caused an issue in an already strained environment.
According to the report:
- There is a "growing pay divide" within the squad, which has tested team unity.
- Mesut Ozil recently signed a new contract worth £350,000-a-week, which shattered the club's wage structure.
- Some in the Arsenal dressing room have questioned the contribution of Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang, and have noted that Arsenal have only won two of their eight games since the pair arrived.
- Aubameyang earns a reported £200,000-a-week and Mkhitaryan takes home £180,000-a-week.
- There is "growing resentment" towards the pair, with many players feeling they have not yet justified their salaries.
- The contracts of some players, such as Aaron Ramey, Danny Welbeck and Nacho Monreal, expire in 2019, but they have been told they will not be elevated into the top wage bracket.
- Jack Wilshere's deal expires at the end of the season, but he has reportedly been told he will have to accept a pay cut to sign a new contract.
If this report is accurate, then it sounds like a complete mess at Arsenal, and there are worrying divisions within the dressing room. If this is the case, then the situation won't be resolved by merely replacing the manager.