Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is reportedly training away from Arsenal’s first team following Mikel Arteta’s decision to strip the captaincy from the Gabonese star.
Arteta would not discuss the long-term ramifications of Aubameyang’s crimes against team policy, merely revealing that the striker would not be available for Saturday afternoon’s match at Leeds United (watch live, 12:30pm ET on NBC and online via Peacock Premium).
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The Gunners were very good in beating West Ham to reach the top four, and Arteta was thrilled at their response to the situation (which included Aubameyang’s punishment for returning late from an overseas event).
And while Arteta dismissed discussing Aubameyang’s future, he did comment on what lies ahead for two other attackers.
Alexandre Lacazette was quite productive at Arsenal before Arteta’s time and is still getting goals and assists at a good clip despite being a lesser-used asset by his new boss.
Nicolas Pepe has struggled to find regular playing time, too, with Arteta happier to use younger options (Pepe, for what it’s worth, is 26 years old).
Mikel Arteta on Alexandre Lacazette’s role at Arsenal
“Alex’s performances, involvement and commitment is without question. It’s not related to his contract situation. I discussed it in the summer with him, what the situation was, and we are both clear on that. Auba’s situation is something separate to that.”
Mikel Arteta on Nicolas Pepe’s lack of playing time
“He needs more opportunities to show what he can do and in the last few games, he hasn’t had them. … To be fair, Nico is really willing and really willing to help the team. The reality is that the position he is playing, Bukayo has been playing regularly there and he’s been fantastic. So it’s not been easy for him to find that time.”