Aubameyang's disciplinary breach has compounded concerns at Arsenal

REVEALED: Aubameyang’s latest disciplinary breach has compounded concerns from Arsenal staff and some team-mates over his suitability as captain – but any move by Mikel Arteta to strip him of the armband could cause major disruption

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped from Arsenal’s win over Southampton
  • Mikel Arteta left him out after he returned from France a day later than agreed
  • He was given permission to go abroad on Wednesday to collect his sick mum

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s latest disciplinary breach has compounded long-standing concerns about his suitability as club captain from senior coaching staff.

The forward was axed from the squad that recorded a convincing 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday after reporting back for club duty late from an approved trip abroad last week; manager Mikel Arteta confirming before kick-off the decision was due to a ‘disciplinary’ issue.

And Sportsmail has learned the controversy has amplified pre-existing reservations from figures inside the club’s training ground about Aubameyang’s position as skipper.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped ahead of Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Southampton

Having originally been appointed as captain during Unai Emery’s reign, Aubameyang has kept the armband during the Arteta era despite the concerns that are held not only by staff, but certain team-mates.

There is an understanding that any move to strip the 32-year-old of the armband could cause major disruption within the squad, particularly given Aubameyang’s influence in the dressing room.

But Aubameyang’s latest issue will only serve to bolster the unease over the striker’s position as team figurehead given his already lengthy crime sheet.

Mikel Arteta (left) had given the Arsenal captain (right) permission to go abroad on Tuesday to visit his sick mother, but asked for him to return on Wednesday 

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.

Aubameyang and Arteta are said to share no more than a ‘working’ relationship, though the Gunners boss was at pains to deny any rift with his star striker.

Yet, well-placed sources claim the pair have not seen eye-to-eye on certain issues since Arteta’s appointment nearly two years ago.

The striker still has 18 months to run on his current £350,000-per-week contract – and his future is likely to become an issue at the end of the season.

The Arsenal striker took to social media this week to explain the reason for his absence

Aubameyang (right) is very close to his mother (left), who has been struggling with her health


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