Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to miss Arsenal’s Premier League game on Saturday against Southampton after missing training on Friday.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their side's first goal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on December 02, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 02: Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their side’s first goal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on December 02, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Although there was no mention of any problems with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Arsenal’s pre-match team news update, which said there were doubts over Bernd Leno and Bukayo Saka, while also declaring Gabriel Martinelli fit, it seems he might not be involved.

According to Charles Watts, Aubameyang missed training on Friday and “it is not clear at this stage why Aubameyang was absent, but there are suggestions that the 32-year-old could be unwell.”

On Saturday, just before kick off, it was confirmed that Aubameyang missed out due to a disciplinary breach:

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Mikel Arteta was keen to stress, again, there is no issue between him and Aubameyang.

“It’s all about patches, every player has patches and moments, and it’s about trying to make the big moments and the good moments and the form when a player is scoring goals to try and maintain it, and try to reduce to the time when they don’t,” Arteta said.

5 December 2021

Aubameyang is ‘trying his best’ says Arteta ahead of Everton game

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goes into Arsenal’s game against Everton on Monday night amid a swirl of speculation regarding his future and questions being asked by Arsenal fans.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal acknowledges the fans after the Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on October 18, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 18: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal acknowledges the fans after the Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on October 18, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has seven goals, and two assists, in 14 games this season but with only four of those goals coming in the league, and Arsenal struggling to score in that competition, questions are being asked about the forward.

Ahead of the game against Everton, which could see Arsenal close the gap on fourth to just a single point, Mikel Arteta was asked about his mis-firing front-man.

“You are always [concerned] when your main striker isn’t scoring goals but he is trying his hardest,” Arteta said.

“He is aware of how much we need him as a team to score goals and, at the moment, they are not coming but the rest of the things we are asking him to do, he is trying his best.”

“What I said is that the senior players are the ones who have to lead and the younger players are the ones who have to follow,” he added.

“We need that balance in the performances on the pitch and as well off the field. We are getting that balance right and we have to continue not to rely too much on the rest and this is a team, it’s not two teams that are split, and we need that balance and to manage those moments.

“First of all [I will] keep demanding the best from everybody and ask them for things they can do and they can do well, and do well consistently – and that’s what I try to do all the time.”

Aubameyang’s agent contacts Barcelona about January move according to Spanish report

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s agent has reportedly contacted Barcelona about a possible January move with Arsenal said to be less than impressed with the forward.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the Mind Series match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Copyright: Mark Pain
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the Mind Series match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Copyright: Mark Pain

It’s no lie to say that many Arsenal fans are a little fed up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Watching the youth and energy in the rest of the team, at times it can feel like the side are playing with an OAP up front.

Last season, in what were, admittedly, extreme circumstances, including picking up malaria, Auba returned his worst goal tally since he turned professional.

This season, he has seven goals and two assists in 14 games which is not too shabby, but with only four in the Premier League and Arsenal struggling for goals, the focus has turned to the club captain.

Against United he played just 14 accurate passes (Aaron Ramsdale played 18) and he yet again missed another effort he should be tucking away.

Diariogol, who aren’t the most reliable of outlets, but who sometimes do get a story, claim that Arteta’s poker-like patience has run out with Auba and that Arsenal want to shift him in January, when he will be off at AFCON.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang modelling the new Arsenal third kit for 2021/22 (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang modelling the new Arsenal third kit for 2021/22 (Photo via Arsenal.com)

They write, via Google translate, “The Spanish coach considers that the 32-year-old striker does not contribute anything on the field of play, and that he is a very toxic person for the locker room.

“For this reason, he has asked the ‘Gunner’ board to find a way out for him, and try to get some money from his sale.

“‘Auba’ is also packing his bags, just four years after his arrival in London.

“They promised him that they would win titles, and that they would play the Champions League, but it has never been like that.

“He feels cheated, and thinks that they have not known how to value him either. He does not want to retire at the Emirates Stadium, and hopes to go to another team where he can win more trophies, and increase his record.

“And one of the clubs that Aubameyang has been offered to is Barça. He is aware that they are looking for a forward for the next winter market, and his agent has not hesitated to call Joan Laporta.”

Barcelona, the Spanish publication write, would be interested if the price was low enough.

Aubameyang is under contract until 2023 and is currently valued at around £22m.