Arsenal have stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club captaincy following a disciplinary breach last week.
Aubameyang was left out of the squad for Saturday’s match against Southampton, and Arsenal confirmed their decision to remove the forward as captain on Tuesday.
An update on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 14, 2021
The club also said Aubameyang will not be available for selection against West Ham on Wednesday.
“We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed,” the club said in a statement.
“We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.”
🔴 AUBAMEYANG ABSENCE INFO 🔴
⚽️ Went to get mother from France
⚽️ Returned later than expected
⚽️ Confusion over #COVID19 test
⚽️ Sent home from training ground
⚽️ Told to stay away FRI
⚽️ Tattoo in London + unrelated
🤝 W/ @gunnerblog @TheAthleticUK #AFC https://t.co/7bL2eIsyWP
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) December 13, 2021
Head coach Mikel Arteta was tight-lipped on the reasons for Aubameyang’s absence, refusing to comment when asked if the striker had returned late from a trip abroad.
Former team manager Unai Emery named Aubameyang as Arsenal’s new captain after taking the armband off Granit Xhaka and Arteta decided to stick with the striker after taking over as manager a few weeks later.
The decision seemed to pay off initially, with Aubameyang leading Arsenal to FA Cup glory in August 2020 and scoring his 28th and 29th goals of the season in the final, but his form dipped after he signed a new long-term contract a few weeks after that.
The 32-year-old scored only 15 goals last season, his lowest total since the 2010/11 campaign, and if his form was not enough of a worry, disciplinary issues began to arise too. Aubameyang kept hold of the armband after his indiscretion against Tottenham last season, but this has proved a breach too far.