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Mikel Arteta fuels rumours Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will leave Arsenal as his side hammer Norwich

The Canaries remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Kevin Palmer

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta refused to be drawn on rumours that his former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has played his final game for the club, as he was left out of the Gunners side once again as they won 5-0 at Norwich.

A brace from Bukayo Saka either side of a rare Kieran Tierney strike had the Gunners on course for three points before a late Alexandre Lacazette penalty and a goal for substitute Emile Smith Rowe secured a comfortable 5-0 win.

The victory leaves Arsenal six points clear in fourth place as they picked up back-to-back away wins for the first time in the league this season.

Yet it was the continued absence of Aubamayang that sparked fresh rumours the striker was destined for a move in next month's transfer window, with Arteta refusing to quash those rumours after the game.

"He wasn't selected for today's match. We'll take it game by game. That was the decision," he stated. There is nothing more to say."

Arteta was a little more forthcoming as he praised his players for their professionalism, as they cemented their place in the top four with a convincing win.

"It's a very satisfying result because in this festive period we have to keep performances to a high level," said Arteta.

"We looked really sharp and committed. It's a big win for us. I am really pleased. The amount of chances we create is pleasing.

"We go to every ground to try and impose our game. Today was a really good example. The unity we have around the club and with our fans is very pleasing."

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on prior to the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on prior to the Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

While the visitors continued a decent run of form, Norwich remain rooted to the bottom of the table and head coach Dean Smith was left bemoaning individual errors as he admitted standards had “dropped massively” following a St Stephen's Day humiliation.

"It was very difficult to be honest, I didn’t see that coming," said Smith

"The last game (a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa) first half was poor but two games ago we were going toe-to-toe with Man United and had fans out of their seats.

"This was just as flat a performance as we have had and it was littered with unforced errors.

"We’ve got to be better than that and we are better than that, unfortunately the standards have dropped off massively from the Manchester United game, there are reasons for that but I’m not here to make excuses.

"We have to be better than we were today. We have been beaten 5-0 at home and the coaching staff and I now have to try and lift the players. I'll have a debrief with them about this game and make sure we are ready for the next game."

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