The club captain has battled being played on a left flank by Arteta.
But the Gunners manager said: "It's one of the options that we have for sure in the team, to evolve it. The moment he doesn't score in three or four games, people will say, 'He needs to play more central'. It was great for him to play on the left because he wasn't picked up by central defenders. There was more freedom for him to do that. [Criticism] is a part of this industry."
Meanwhile, on Nicolas Pepe, Arteta admits he's seeking better consistency.
"He needed some time. It's not easy when the club makes the investment that they made on him, the expectations are high. He's handled the situation really well, he's better adapted and he's a player that is unpredictable, that has something special. It's just about doing it in a consistent way."