Arsenal have announced that they have stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club captaincy following a string of disciplinary breaches.
The striker had been captain since Granit Xhaka was stripped of the role following an on-field bust up with fans in November 2019.
The club have also announced that the Gabon international won’t be available for Wednesday’s fixture against West Ham United as part of his disciplinary action.
Manager Mikel Arteta left Aubameyang out of the squad for the weekend win over Southampton due to disciplinary reasons, but refused to expand on that and after the game wouldn’t give any assurances over the role.
It’s been reported by The Athletic that Aubameyang’s most recent disciplinary breach was his third since Arteta’s arrival, which has been the last straw on the camel’s back.
It’s believed that Aubameyang returned to France to bring his mother to the UK but returned later than originally planned, which meant he then couldn’t train due to UK quarantine rules.
The club deemed this a step too far and he has now been removed from his position as captain.
That surely now will see his future at the club plunged into doubt, with the January transfer window just a couple of weeks away and his first-team place no longer secured.
A new captain is yet to be announced but it would seem logical that the armband will go to Alexandre Lacazette, who currently serves as the vice-captain for the club.
The decision to strip Aubameyang is a big show of faith to Arteta by the club and a message to all the players in the dressing room that he is in charge for the long haul.
Aubameyang is a hugely influential figure in the dressing room so this decision has the potential to back-fire and cause a huge split, but it’s clear that Arteta is the boss.