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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stripped off Arsenal captaincy

Arsenal have stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club captaincy amid reports he will not be considered for selection for Wednesday’s league match against West Ham.

This move comes as a time the forward is smarting from being axed from the squad that beat Southampton 3-0 on Saturday.

This is after he reported back for club duty late from an approved trip abroad last week.

And Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has now ruthlessly taken the armband off the star striker.

Arsenal said in a statement on Tuesday: ‘Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday’s match against West Ham United.

‘We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed. We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match.’

Sportsmail has previously reported the controversy has amplified pre-existing reservations from figures inside the club’s training ground about Aubameyang’s position as skipper.

But it was felt that any move to take the armband off the 32-year-old could cause major disruption in the team due to Aubameyang’s influence in the squad.

Arteta benched the forward for the north London derby against Tottenham in March due to lateness, while he was also reprimanded by Arsenal in February over a possible Covid-19 regulations breach.

Aubameyang and Arteta are said to share no more than a ‘working’ relationship, though the Gunners boss was at pains to deny any rift with his star striker.

The forward was given the club captaincy under Arteta’s predecessor, Unai Emery, and is on a £350,000-a-week contract that runs until 2023. It is hard to see how he has a future at the Gunners after this latest run-in, but his astronomical wages will be a stumbling block to any club wishing to sign him.

Arteta revealed in his pre-match build-up to the Southampton game on Saturday that he dropped Aubameyang over a disciplinary breach, explaining: ‘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.’

He had been benched at Goodison Park last Monday for the 2-1 defeat by Everton and only saw five minutes of action after replacing Alexandre Lacazette in a late substitution.