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Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been dropped from the squad due to a disciplinary breach, Mikel Arteta has revealed.
GOAL reported on Friday that the striker failed to report to London Colney for the final training session ahead of Saturday's Premier League match against Southampton.
Originally it was thought the Gabon international might have been unwell, but Arteta has since stated that Aubameyang has been dropped due to falling afoul of club rules.
What was said?
Speaking ahead of the Saints clash, Arteta said: “Unfortunately [he's been dropped] 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.
“It's not an easy situation and not a situation we want to have our club captain in.”
GOAL can confirm that Aubameyang was punished for returning late to club duties following a trip aboard, which had been cleared by the Gunners management.
The Gabon international came back from his leave, which was cleared by Arsenal for personal reasons, later than agreed, which affected the Londoners' coronavirus protocols.
A growing problem
Aubameyang has been a source of discontent for some time now, with the skipper having been woefully out of form for some time.
Despite being club captain, his poor performances effectively forced Arteta's hand, with Aubameyang having been forced to settle for a spot on the bench in Monday's defeat at Everton.
Indeed, the forward has failed to find the net since October, in a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
New blood needed?
With Arsenal's attackers struggling for goals on a consistent basis, it is the opinion of many that the club should be in the market for a new striker.
Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Lille's Jonathan David and Fiorentina hitman Dusan Vlahovic have all been linked with a move to the Emirates, but it is unlikely that any deals will be done in the January window.