Arsenal have stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club captaincy and the forward will not be considered for selection against West Ham on Wednesday night.
Aubameyang was dropped for Saturday’s Premier League 3-0 win over Southampton for what manager Mikel Arteta said was a “disciplinary breach”, which reportedly concerned a late return from a trip abroad.
On Tuesday morning, the club confirmed Gabon forward Aubameyang would no longer wear the captain’s armband and also miss out against the Hammers.
“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,” a statement from Arsenal read.
“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 not Aubameyang’s first transgression, having previously been benched for March’s north London derby against Tottenham after what was described as a breach of the club’s pre-match protocol.
Arteta, addressing the decision in a press conference ahead of the West Ham match, said: “It is a really a clear statement from the club. It is the decision we have made with the last incident we had with the player and this is where we stand.
“We had to make the decision, it is the right one to defend the interest of the football club.”
Arteta confirmed he had spoken with Aubameyang directly.
“The players accepted the decision, they know because they have committed to it.
“We want to take our culture and how we want to represent the football club to a different level.”
On who might take the armband on a permanent basis, Arteta added: “It is not a moment to make a rash decision.
“The leadership group is really strong and we are going to continue like that, to make that group a little bit better, to educate them and get the right feedback.”