Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is no longer training with the Arsenal first team and he is not expected to do so until he returns from the African Cup of Nations at the earliest.
The Gabon striker was stripped of the club captaincy recently after returning late from an authorised absence.
Now, Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Aubameyang, who was dropped from the squad for Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over West Ham, will not be considered for the meeting with Leeds on Saturday either.
According to The Telegraph, we’re unlikely to see Aubameyang in an Arsenal shirt until after the AFCON as he has been ordered to train away from the first team for the time being.
Aubameyang has not gone on strike nor refused to play, but Arteta and those in charge at the Emirates have come up with a training regime to keep him healthy away from the senior side.
That is expected to last until the AFCON in January, with the striker likely to be allowed to leave to join up with Gabon at the earliest possible opportunity.
It’s unclear what the long-term future holds for Aubameyang. A January transfer is a possibility, with Barcelona monitoring the 32-year-old, but he could be away for the entire transfer window if Gabon make it to the latter stages, with the final set to be held on 6 February.
Aubameyang is unsure of what Arsenal plan to do with him. Arteta has not publicly spoken about a possible transfer and it is believed that those conversations have not been held in private either, leaving the player in the dark about the whole thing.
If he does not depart the club, either on loan or otherwise, Aubameyang is expected to hold fresh talks with the Arsenal hierarchy to figure out whether he can be reintegrated into the squad.