Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future at the Emirates is in serious doubt after three disciplinary breaches, the latest of which occurred this week when he returned late from a trip abroad.
Arsenal revealed on Tuesday that the Gabon international is now no longer the club captain and that he would not be available for selection against West Ham this week.
Responding just minutes later, Aubameyang’s agent Kwaku Mensah posted two images of his client holding trophies from his time at Arsenal.
Sportsmail has previously reported that the controversy has amplified pre-existing reservations from figures inside the club’s training ground about Aubameyang’s position as skipper. Aubameyang has kept the armband during the Arteta era despite the concerns that are held not only by staff but certain teammates.
Now, though, Arteta has moved to take the captaincy from one of his star players, and in a statement, the club said: ‘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.’
It is also not the first time Aubameyang’s agent has made a dig at the club, moving to defend his player back in December 2020 too.
At the time, Aubameyang was on a barren scoring run and had come in for criticism from his manager, as well as fans and pundits.
In response, Mensah posted a Sky Sports graphic that showed how Arsenal was among the worst in the Premier League for chances created.
Alongside the image, he included the caption: ‘If you create chances…’
Last Wednesday, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was given permission to go abroad to collect his sick mum and bring her back to England.
The striker even took to Instagram last week thanking fans for offering support. He wrote: ‘My mother is going through some health issues and I had to be there for her.
‘She’s already much better now… I’m more than grateful to the doctors and nurses helping her get through this.’
However, it had been agreed that the striker would return later that evening to ensure he would be ready to train on Thursday. But the striker reportedly flew home on Thursday morning instead and current Covid testing protocols also meant that Aubameyang was unable to return to training until he had produced a negative PCR test.
Arsenal Coach Mikel Arteta benched the forward for the north London derby against Tottenham in March due to lateness, while he was also reprimanded by Arsenal in February over a possible Covid-19 regulations breach.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arteta are said to share no more than a ‘working’ relationship, though the Gunners boss has been at pains to deny any rift with his striker.