Arsenal have confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be Arsenal captain.
Ahead of Saturday’s win over Southampton, Mikel Arteta revealed the player was missing from his squad for a “disciplinary breach” and that all players were expected to adhere to the club’s “non-negotiables”.
The Athletic reported on Saturday evening that Aubameyang failed to return to England at an agreed time having been given permission to fetch his mother from France in the aftermath of the defeat to Everton.
Guilty of a similar infraction in March – traffic jam-related tardiness in advance of the north London derby – it appears Arteta has decided enough is enough and will select another leader.
Aubameyang, who became the club’s highest-paid player when he signed a new deal in September 2020, will also sit out tomorrow’s game against West Ham.
A forceful statement from the club, reads: “Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday’s match against West Ham United.
“We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed. We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.”
This is the third time in the last 15 years that Arsenal have stripped the armband from the captain. Arsene Wenger got fed up with William Gallas and Granit Xhaka, following his spat with fans, made his position untenable during the dying days of Unai Emery’s tenure.
We wait with bated breath to see who gets selected next. It has been something of a poisoned chalice.
We’re also keen to see how Aubameyang reacts. He doesn’t have much of a chance to get back in the good books before disappearing to the AFCON later this month.
We do love drama.