Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be unavailable again for Arsenal’s trip away to Leeds United this weekend, according to Mikel Arteta.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Mikel Arteta confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not be joining the Arsenal squad travelling to Leeds for Saturday’s Premier League clash.
Aubameyang has already been absent for a couple of games, as he lost the Arsenal captaincy earlier this week.
It’s not clear exactly when he’ll be returning, as we’re only getting updates on a game-by-game basis.
On Tuesday, Arsenal posted that following Aubameyang’s “latest disciplinary breach” last week, he’ll no longer be the club captain, and he wouldn’t be considered for selection against West Ham.
Before that, Aubameyang had also missed the game against Southampton, with Arteta confirming that was also for the same reason.
Fortunately, Arsenal have done well in the 32-year-old’s absence, winning well against both Southampton and West Ham. But there’s still a bit of a cloud over everything until Aubameyang reconciles with the club.
What did Aubameyang do?
Back in December of 2020, The Athletic wrote an article where they mentioned that Aubameyang had been fined for missing a Covid-19 test ahead of a European trip. This appears to be the first breach that we know of.
After that, there were a couple more public indiscretions in early 2021. First, Aubameyang was “reminded of his responsibilities” by the club after breaching Covid regulations to get a tattoo.
Then, Arsenal fans will remember that Aubameyang was dropped against Spurs for reporting late, which was “not the first time” he had reported late.
Finally, David Ornstein reports that the latest incident involved a trip to France.
Despite Arsenal cracking down on trips abroad, the club had agreed to give Aubameyang special permission to go and visit his mother, as long as he returned on Wednesday night.
The striker didn’t return on Wednesday, coming back on Thursday instead. Though he wasn’t late for training, there were Covid testing complications with his late return.
More than that, the problem was the simple fact he’d breached the agreement in the first place.
Some fans have pointed to other Arsenal disciplinary issues and asked why they weren’t treated similarly, but in most cases they were.
When Willian made a business trip to Dubai, Arsenal investigated the incident and fined him, just like Aubameyang was fined for his first offence.
The difference is that Willian didn’t have three or more further breaches (partly because he left the club).
The most bizarre complaint I’ve seen is that Granit Xhaka wasn’t treated like this when he swore at supporters. Yes, he was!
For those with short-term memories, Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy and dropped for the remainder of Unai Emery’s tenure.
The Swiss international didn’t get special treatment, he was punished in exactly the same way Aubameyang has been. He just worked his way back in afterwards.
Given the goals Aubameyang brings at his best, I think most of us are hoping the striker will work his way back too.
As for the suggestion that Aubameyang lost the captaincy for visiting his sick mother, that’s a totally disingenuous account.
Aubameyang was given special permission to visit his mother when others weren’t allowed to go abroad, he just wasn’t given permission to return late.