After arriving late from an overseas trip, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left out of Arsenal’s matchday squad against Southampton.
Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to Everton on Monday saw Aubameyang drop to the bench, but he was expected to return to the starting XI against Southampton.
After reportedly missing Friday’s training, the Gabonese international was not even named among the squad.
Mikel Arteta, speaking before the game, explained that the club captain was unavailable due to ‘disciplinary reasons,’ but he did not elaborate on what exactly he had done.
‘Unfortunately, (Aubameyang) will not be playing due to a disciplinary violation,’ Arteta said.
‘I think we’ve been very consistent, there are some team non-negotiables that we’ve set for ourselves and as a club, and he’s not involved.’ This isn’t a simple situation, and we don’t want our club captain to find himself in it.’
According to the Athletic, Aubameyang has been granted permission by Arsenal to travel abroad this week to attend a personal matter.
After returning to the club later than expected, he was dropped, and his actions had ramifications for the Gunners’ strict Covid-19 protocols.
After Arteta confirmed his omission, former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood slammed the 32-year-old, questioning whether he should have been given the captain’s armband in the first place.
‘I think the manager is under a lot of pressure, but what he can’t take is players throwing their toys out the pram, thinking that because they’re on the bench at Everton, they can do whatever they want and not have to play with the rest of the team.’ He told Sky Sports, “I think it’s an absolute disgrace.”
‘A man who wears the armband is a man who leads by example; he draws everyone into life and leads by example. If he can’t speak well, he’ll have to lead by example. But he’s not leading by example off the field, and he’s not leading by example on the field either.’