Mikel Arteta has expressed his confidence in the strength of Arsenal’s leadership team after his decision to remove Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the club’s captaincy.

The 32-year-old had the captain’s armband removed by coach Arteta on December 14 for breaching the club’s disciplinary rules.

He missed the two wins over Southampton and West Ham and will miss again when Arsenal face Leeds on Saturday live on Sky Sports, but Arteta believes his squad is more than ready to rise and lead.

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“We have other captains and there is a list of captains for a reason because the player might start not playing, one of the players gets injured, and then the other players have to take that responsibility,” Arteta said. Sky Sports News.

“In order to do that, you don’t want it to happen overnight.

“That’s why you have a leadership group because they are constantly making decisions, constantly communicating with myself, the coaching staff and the club in so many other aspects, and they have to be used to taking on that responsibility and leadership.”

Striker Alexandre Lacazette has worn the armband for Arsenal’s last three games and could be in line to take up the role full-time.

Saturday December 18 5:00 PM

Departure 5:30 pm


Sky Sports News It can be confirmed that Aubameyang, at Arteta’s request, is currently training apart from the rest of the Arsenal first team. The Gabon striker is keen to maintain his fitness ahead of next month’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Arteta was candid in his press conference on Friday that he went beyond how well Aubameyang was prepared for the Leeds game, not revealing much about the forward’s future at Arsenal and any immediate plans to appoint a permanent captain.

However, while the Arsenal boss has taken a more conciliatory tone to Aubameyang, acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes, he also hinted that the club had already shown past leniency.

Alexandre Lacazette
picture:
Alexandre Lacazette has worn the Arsenal captain’s armband in recent matches

“Sure. I think we all make mistakes. I always think everyone has the right intention – even if I’ve made a mistake,” Arteta added.

“You have to understand that maybe it’s wrong with you, for someone else it’s just normal because they come from a different background, culture or education, and I’m totally open to that – and I think we’ve shown on many occasions.”

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