Mikel Arteta: Aubameyang will NOT play for Arsenal in Leeds trip

Mikel Arteta confirms Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will NOT feature for Arsenal in Saturday’s trip to Leeds as Gabon forward remains in exile after being stripped of the captaincy

  • Mikel Arteta says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still unavailable for Arsenal
  • The Gabon forward was stripped of the Gunners captaincy earlier this week
  • Arsenal won 2-0 against West Ham in their first game since the shock news
  • Aubameyang has been replaced by a leadership group which Arteta will use 

Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will again be unavailable for selection this weekend.

Arsenal travel to Leeds on Saturday evening but Aubameyang will be absent once more after having the captaincy taken off him.

Arteta took action after striker Aubameyang failed to report back in time for a Covid test after travelling to France with his manager’s permission to visit his unwell mother.

Mikel Areta (right) has revealed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is unavailable for Arsenal’s next game with Leeds on Saturday

The Gabon forward was stripped of the Gunners captaincy for several disciplinary breaches

Aubameyang missed Arsenal’s victory over Southampton last weekend and then the midweek win against West Ham after losing the armband and his exile is set to continue at Elland Road.

‘He is not available for selection,’ Arteta said. Asked if he has a future at the club or what he has to do get back in favour, Arteta swerved both questions, repeating: ‘For this game he is not available for selection.’

Aubameyang was sacked as captain on Tuesday, just one day before the Gunners’ 2-0 victory over West Ham to take the north Londoners into the top four. 

Alex Lacazette wore the armband in the Gabon forward’s absence, with the French striker one of the senior figures in Arsenal’s ‘leadership group’ which will take temporary charge of the captaincy while Arteta searches for his next club captain.

Alex Lacazette (left) and Granit Xhaka (middle) are members of Arsenal’s ‘leadership group’

Granit Xhaka, who was stripped of the captaincy himself in late 2019 after publicly criticising the Arsenal faithful, is also part of that group with out-of-favour defender Rob Holding another senior leader. 

The likes of Kieran Tierney, Martin Odegaard, Ben White and Aaron Ramsdale have all been tipped as potential Arsenal captains for Arteta – a former Gunners skipper himself – to choose.  

Arsenal’s next game after Saturday’s trip to Leeds is a Carabao Cup quarter-final at home to Sunderland, before the Gunners face lowly Norwich City on Boxing Day.

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