Arteta quizzed about Aubameyang as Arsenal defeat West Ham
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Mikel Arteta has ignored pleas from Ian Wright to “kill” his bad blood with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by declaring the striker will not be available for selection for this weekend’s clash with Leeds. The Gabon international was forced to sit out of Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over West Ham after being stripped of the Arsenal captaincy earlier this week following a disciplinary breach.
Aubameyang is understood to have reported back late to north London after being granted permission to head overseas to visit his mother.
Yet after the forward also turned up late for the north London derby win over Tottenham in March, Arteta was not prepared to let him off the hook for the third time.
Since the win over West Ham, Gunners icon Wright advised Arteta to squash his beef with Aubameyang for the sake of the team but it appears the Arsenal boss is not prepared to soften his approach just yet.
Arteta has now confirmed Aubameyang won’t be available for selection for Saturday’s trip to Elland Road.
Alexandre Lacazette is expected to captain the side in his absence, once again.
Wright said in midweek: “He’s just not entertaining anything to do with Aubameyang and I totally understand when he says he just wants to concentrate on what happened today and he doesn’t want to talk about it.
“But I don’t think you can continue to avoid it, especially in the way that it has come about. At some stage you’re going to have to quash it or talk about it.
“He’s got the capability of killing it and saying, ‘Yeah, he’s in the plans and he’s an Arsenal player’, and he didn’t do it.
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“I was hoping for something like that because what you want now is everything’s done, Arsenal have won, they’ve played brilliantly, the boss has been vindicated for his decisions so just quash it so they can move on.
“It’s going to be talked about again, they will mention it again for the next game. And then if he’s not in the next game… so he can kill it, that’s all I’m saying. Kill it.”
Arteta was not prepared to talk in further detail about the situation with Aubameyang.
He remains tight-lipped on his plans for the striker and whether there is any way back for him at the club.
Barcelona are now reportedly eyeing a January swoop after losing Sergio Aguero to retirement.
Aubameyang has been linked with a move to the Camp Nou in recent years but he stayed loyal to Arsenal, signing a new lucrative contract.
Speaking after the win over West Ham, Arteta did not want to go into much detail about the captaincy situation but he did admit all of his players must stay true to the club’s values.
“We have a leadership group but I expect it from every player. To stick to our values,” he told BT Sport.
“They do what they have to do, they have to enjoy themselves and leave it in that room because enjoyment is a big part of that and they play with passion.”
When pressed on Aubameyang, he added: “We will talk about that another day, I want to focus on the game.
“He wasn’t eligible for this game and this game has gone now.”
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