Arsenal Confirms That Aubameyang Will No Longer Be Club's Captain.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy and will not partake in the club’s Premier League match against West Ham on Wednesday night.

The Gabonese international had the armband taken away from him on Tuesday morning following another disciplinary breach last week.

He reportedly come back late from a pre-approved trip abroad before the Gunners' 3-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday in which Aubameyang was not in the matchday squad.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has once again left the highest-paid player (£350,000-per-week) out of his 20-man squad to face West Ham midweek, having asked him not to report for training during Saturday’s pre-match interview.

Arsenal issued a short statement via the club's website which read: “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.”

The critical incident occurred following Arsenal's 2-1 defeat against Everton last week Monday, December 6th.

Aubameyang had asked for permission to travel to France to visit his mother, and bring her back with him to England.

The Premier League club directed him to return to England latest on Wednesday but the he decided to return to London on Thursday, two days before the league game against Southampton.

Hence, he missed the time scheduled for him to undergo his routine coronavirus test which he ought to take before the Thursday training session.

When he finally did the test on Thursday and joined up with the team on Friday, he was asked to train at home.

According to the Athletic, When it comes to family matters, Arteta and Arsenal are understanding. In January of this year, Aubameyang was granted time off to visit his mother as she dealt with a serious health condition which saw the captain missed matches in the FA Cup (v Southampton) and Premier League (v Southampton and Manchester United).

Aubameyang’s commitment as captain of the North London club has been challenged in recent times, as CloudNine Sports understands that this is not the first time the 32-year-old has been left out of the Arsenal squad for disciplinary reasons. He was left out of the side that beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 back in March for being late.

Arteta who spoke the media just hours after the decision on Aubameyang was announced, revealed that he will not appoint a full-time successor to Aubameyang as captain just yet, and would rely on a “leadership group” of senior players, with Alexandre Lacazette and Granit Xhaka considered as top choice.

"We have the leadership group, within that we have different players we have nominated to be captain. 

“In the last game we had (Lacazette) as captain, and we have Xhaka too who have been captain recently. It’s not the moment to make a rash decision. That leadership group is really strong, and We are going to continue like that. We will try to educate them and get feedback at the right time."

You may recall that Aubameyang was appointed as full-time captain just before Emery's sacking in November 2019, succeeding Xhaka whose time as Gunners skipper came to an end when he blasted Arsenal fans on the pitch while being substituted to boos during a draw with Crystal Palace in October 2019.

Aubameyang has been Arsenal captain for close to two years, and he lifted the FA Cup in 2020 which was his first season with the armband.

Arsenal are set to play West Ham at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday which will be pivotal to the Gunners' top-four hopes this season.

David Moyes' side are currently in fourth spot in the league standings, two points ahead of the Gunners.

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