Rafa Benitez has revealed inside details of the feud between Mikel Arteta and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that led to the latter leaving Arsenal.
Aubameyang left the London club in January after his contract was terminated.
The 32-year-old had been frozen out at the Gunners and stripped of the captaincy following a disciplinary breach.
The former Gabon international then joined Barcelona on a free transfer, signing a three-year-contract.
Arteta faced some criticism for his decisions that led to Aubameyang leaving the Premier League side for Barcelona.
But Benitez has now given more details while backing his fellow countryman.
“I will tell you something because I know a little bit from the inside. He was trying to support the player as much as he could and after he couldn’t and that’s it. And he has to make a decision,” Benitez told Premier League Productions, as cited by The Mirror.
“It’s good to give time to the right coach, in England it’s very easy to talk about, ‘they have to spend money, it’s the only way’. And it’s not the way. With the economical crisis around the world, you have to improve your players, you have to coach your players properly.
“You have to keep an eye on the academy and bring players from the academy, and if you can buy players buy top-class players, but not top-class players in ability, [but also in] mentality. Then if the manager is right, if the ideas are right, you have to give him confidence, that is really important to do something.
“He was under pressure a couple of times, and still they were spending a lot of money, don’t get me wrong, but they were supporting him and he was doing well. And at the end of the day, the value of the team, the players, the club, is much better now.”