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11th Dec 2021

Arteta says Aubameyang has been left out over ‘disciplinary breach’

Simon Lloyd

Arteta has explained why Aubameyang will miss out against Southampton

Mikel Arteta has confirmed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s absence from the Arsenal squad to face Southampton is due to a disciplinary breach.

The Gabonese striker did not feature in the club’s final training session of the week on Friday and it later emerged he was not part of the match day squad for the visit of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side to the Emirates.

With no official reason given as to why he was not part of the squad, some reports speculated Aubameyang may have been feeling unwell and the decision may have been precautionary with the club deploying more stringent measures to guard against rising Covid cases.

However, speaking ahead of kick off, the Arsenal boss confirmed Aubameyang had been left out after breaching internal disciplinary rules.

Asked why he was missing, Arteta said: “Unfortunately [it is] due to a disciplinary breach.

“I think we have been very consistent that we have certain non-negotiables in the team that we have set ourselves as a club, and he’s not involved today.”

This is not the first time the 32-year-old has missed out on a game for such reasons. In March, he was benched for the north London derby with Tottenham.

Aubameyang appeared as a substitute in Monday night’s defeat to Everton at Goodison Park. Arsenal took a first half lead in the game courtesy of Martin Odegaard, but later conceded a Richarlison equaliser before Demarai Gray won the game in stoppage time for Rafa Benitez’s men.

After Gray’s winner, Aubameyang might have salvaged a point for Arsenal had he not screwed a last-gasp shot wide of Jordan Pickford’s goal.

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