Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is the most expensive player in Premier League history, and has been a revelation for Arsenal. He’s fast, clinical on the ball, with an incredible goal scoring record. With that much talent comes high expectations; we should expect him to score over 30 goals this season as well as win some individual awards

Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick has been transferred to the club’s youth team.

Arsenal's Pierre Emerick

Following a “disciplinary transgression,” Arsenal has stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the club leadership and benched him for Wednesday’s Premier League match against West Ham.

Sources tell ESPN that the 32-year-old was kept out of Saturday’s 3-0 victory against Southampton because he returned late from a sanctioned break, however neither the club nor manager Mikel Arteta would acknowledge the particular nature of the incident when asked at the time.

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“Following his latest disciplinary infraction 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,” Arsenal said in a statement on Tuesday morning.

“We expect all of our players, including our captain, to follow the rules and standards that we have established. We’re completely focused on the game tomorrow.”

On Tuesday, Arteta gave a pregame press conference in which he refused to rule out a January exit for the striker.

It wouldn’t be the first time Aubameyang’s tardiness has caused internal strife. After arriving late for a squad meeting on the day of a game, he was omitted for the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur in March.

After video surfaced of Aubameyang getting a fresh tattoo despite strong COVID-19 procedural safeguards, the club had to talk with him to “remind him of his obligations.”

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been relieved of his duties. via Getty Images, Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC

Although sources told ESPN that COVID-19 was not a factor in his most recent breach, Aubameyang’s delay in returning to the club could have harmed the club’s safety measures, especially at a time when Premier League guidelines have been tightened in response to the omicron variant spreading across the UK.

Arteta’s relationship with Aubameyang and the striker’s future at the club will be further complicated by the scenario.

In September 2020, Aubameyang signed a new three-year deal at an initial £250,000 per week, but his form has dipped alarmingly, with no goals since Oct. 22.

When asked about rumors of a rupture with Aubameyang by ESPN on Friday, Arteta said, “I have a really excellent connection with my guys.” Everyone must realize that I always give my all for this club and this squad. And I will always do so if it will assist any person. The choices are not made for personal gain; rather, they are made in order to elicit the greatest performance and results from the team. That is all there is to it.

“Obviously, a player’s confidence, mood, and belief are affected when he doesn’t score, but you have to rebel against this circumstance, don’t accept it, and don’t feel sorry for yourself.”

When asked whether Arsenal was contemplating letting Aubameyang go, Arteta said, “Really, we have never talked anything like this, and when players — or the team — are in difficulties, what we have to be is supportive.”

The relegation of Aubameyang is just another tumultuous day in the Arsenal captaincy’s recent history. Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery stripped his predecessor, Granit Xhaka, of the armband after he told Arsenal supporters to “f—- off” as he was booed off during a Premier League match against Crystal Palace in October 2019.

Laurent Koscielny, the club captain at the time, went on strike to push through a transfer to Bordeaux two years ago, and Xhaka took over.

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Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick has been a player for the club since 2009. He made his debut in 2010 and has scored over 150 goals for Arsenal so far. Reference: arsenal fixtures.

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