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No return for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when Arsenal take on Leeds

The 32-year-old has been stripped of the armband and left out of the past two games

Image: PA

ARSENAL MANAGER MIKEL Arteta is not yet ready to bring back former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang into the team.

Aubameyang has been stripped of the armband and left out of the last two Premier League games, the club having taken stern disciplinary action after the Gabon forward reportedly returned late from a trip abroad to visit his ill mother.

Alexandre Lacazette captained the side as the Gunners beat West Ham on Wednesday night to move back up into the top four.

Arteta confirmed Aubameyang would also not be considered for Saturday’s trip to Leeds as speculation continues over whether the 32-year-old has played his last game for the club.

“For this game, he is not available for selection,” the Arsenal boss said.

Asked what Aubameyang needed to do to get back into contention, Arteta added: “He is not available for the Leeds game, and this is the situation right now.”

Arteta admitted it was a difficult experience having to take action against Aubameyang, but was just one of another tests of his managerial position.

“Every time that you are sitting here you have some challenges. You have some brilliant moments, and some moments where you have to make decisions,” he said.

“I am sitting here to try to make the right decisions every day. My only intention is to get the club in the best possible condition, to defend our players, and to get the best performance and results on the pitch as we can.

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“It is very challenging because those decisions are tough, and are not pleasant, but you have to do what you feel is right.”

Arteta confirmed there were still some concerns over Covid issues, with several fixtures this weekend having already been postponed.

“We are waiting for more tests which we will have this afternoon – and this is the only thing we can do: wait and see,” the Arsenal manager said.

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