BREAKING: Arsenal removes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the club captaincy over a breach of discipline

Arsenal have removed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club captaincy over a breach of discipline.

Aubameyang was dropped from the squad on the weekend as Arsenal beat Southampton 3-0 at the Emirates, and he will not be considered for their match against West Ham on Wednesday evening.

The dispute between the club and the 32-year-old Gabon international revolves around a trip he made to France last week to visit his mother, and his failure to return to the UK at the time the club requested.

The Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, would not be drawn on the matter after the win over Southampton, simply pointing to his pre-match comments which put the captain’s absence down to a “disciplinary breach”.

It is not the first time Aubameyang has been disciplined by the club. In March he was late arriving at the Emirates Stadium for the north London derby due to traffic, and he was dropped to the bench by Arteta. The manager said at the time: “We draw a line under it and move on.”

In a short, blunt statement on Tuesday morning, the club said: “Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday’s match against West Ham United.

“We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed. We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.”

Aubameyang’s suitability for the club captaincy has been a divisive topic among fans and pundits. The striker was given the armband by previous manager Unai Emery after Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka was himself stripped of the role, but his laidback character has been said to be at odds with Arteta’s intense approach.

Xhaka is a potential candidate to take on the role, while 24-year-old left-back Kieran Tierney is another player highly thought of by Arteta. French forward Alexandre Lacazette wore the armband against Southampton in Aubameyang’s absence, and handed it to defender Rob Holding when he was substituted late in the game.

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