Mikel Arteta insists he was "the solution, not the problem" in an apparently fractious relationship with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The forward, who scored 92 goals in 162 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal after joining from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, was released from his contract and joined Barcelona on deadline day.
It was a move that came about after the Gabon international had been stripped of the captaincy at Emirates Stadium following a disciplinary breach.
Aubameyang suggested that Arteta was the one at fault for the falling out, declaring at his Camp Nou presentation: "I think it was a problem just with him [Arteta].
"He made the decision. I can't say much more. He wasn't happy, I stayed very calm and that's it."
However, speaking ahead of the Gunners' trip to Wolves in the Premier League on Thursday, Arteta put a different spin on events.
"That's his opinion, that’s what he said and you have to respect that," he said.
"I’m extremely grateful for what Auba has done and his contribution.
"The way I see myself in that relationship is the solution, not the problem."
Aubameyang's departure came at the end of a transfer window in which Arsenal failed to strengthen, with January having also brought little cause for cheer on the pitch.
Arsenal were winless across five games in all competitions last month, exiting the FA Cup and EFL Cup along the way.
Despite the lack of incoming players, Arteta defended the club's approach.
"We did what we believed was the right thing to do," he said. "The squad composition and contracts were catching up, be fair with players who haven't had a lot of minutes.
"We had a clear plan of what we can do, but then it has to be doable.
"Edu [technical director] and his team have done a great job. We are very clear we only want the best people and the best players at this club.
"When we are in a rush and the reasons to get a player on board are not the right ones we didn’t do it."
Arteta's side sit sixth in the table, four points behind fourth-placed West Ham but with three games in hand.