Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said he will rely on a “leadership group” of senior players after stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captain’s armband.
Aubameyang, 32, was dropped for Saturday’s 3-0 win over Southampton for what manager Mikel Arteta said was a “disciplinary breach”, which The Athletic understands concerned a late return from a trip abroad.
On Tuesday morning, Arsenal confirmed Aubameyang would no longer wear the captain’s armband and would play no part in the club’s next Premier League match, against West Ham.
Arsenal’s last captain before Aubameyang, Granit Xhaka, was also stripped of the captain’s armband, but Arteta said the 29-year-old would form part of a “leadership group” group of players to replace the Gabon international.
“In the last game we had (Alexandre Lacazette) and we have Xhaka too. It’s not the moment to make a rash decision. That leadership group is really strong … We are going to continue like that.”
On why Aubamyenag had been stripped of the role, he added: “I don’t have much more to say as it’s a really clear statement from the club. It’s a decision we made following the latest incident we had with the player.
As you can imagine, when we make that decision it’s because it’s the right one to defend the interests of the football club.”