African All Stars

Afcon 2021: Aubameyang leaves Arsenal, reports for Gabon duty

20:47 EAT 29/12/2021
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang Gabon
The 32-year-old has left North London and he won't return to Mikel Arteta's team until after his country's campaign in Cameroon

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will miss Arsenal’s Premier League match against Manchester City on New Year’s Day after reporting for the Gabon training camp in Dubai.

Aubameyang was among the early arrivals who joined Patrice Neveu's side to begin their preparations for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations that will begin in Cameroon on January 9.

The 2016 African Footballer of the Year has not played for the Gunners since December 6 over a disciplinary breach and he was consequently stripped of the captain's armband.

Although he has a tally of seven goals and two assists across all competitions this season, Aubameyang has missed Arsenal's last five matches.

His absence seems to have not affected the team with Mikel Arteta’s side winning all five games without the Gabon star which include qualification for the League Cup semi-final and rising to fourth spot in the Premier League table.

After scoring five goals in each of their last two games, Arsenal are scheduled to face league leaders Manchester City on January 1 without manager Arteta who has tested positive for the coronavirus and he is currently in isolation.

After the New Year’s Day fixture at Emirates Stadium, the Gunners will host Liverpool for the first leg of the League Cup semi-final on January 6 before battling Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, three days later.

For Gabon, Aubameyang will shift his attention to extending his record as the country’s all-time top scorer (29 goals) in his fifth Afcon tournament having previously featured in the 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2017 editions.

21 players were present in the Panthers' camp as of Tuesday night with Nice winger Mario Lemina alongside Donald Nze, Jean Noel Anomome and Gilchrist Nguema expected to join the rest of the team on Wednesday.

The Panthers will begin their Group C adventure in Cameroon with a game against Comoros on January 10.