Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has angrily dismissed suggestions his promotion as Arsenal captain has been the cause of behind-the-scenes trouble at the club.
The Gabonese striker was recently appointed Arsenal skipper after Unai Emery stripped the armband from Granit Xhaka following his clash with fans during the Gunners’ 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
What is the perceived Arsenal trouble? Five things to know…
- Aubameyang was recently appointed Arsenal captain following Xhaka’s demotion.
- Emery cited Aubameyang‘s “experience” and “respect” as the two major qualities that swayed his decision.
- However, The Athletic have reported that Aubameyang‘s appointment has “divided opinion” inside the club.
- It’s also believed his recent close relationship with YouTube channel AFTV has caused friction in the camp.
- However, Aubameyang has since rubbished the reports as “b******t”.
The Switzerland international was withdrawn to jeers during the meeting with Palace last month, prompting an angry response which included him gesturing and swearing towards the Arsenal supporters.
His reaction sparked widespread backlash and Aubameyang has since taken the captain’s armband from him, with Emery citing the marksman’s “experience and respect in the dressing room” as reasons behind his decision.
However, claims from The Athletic suggest Aubameyang‘s appointment as skipper has “divided opinion” in the dressing room, while his recent association with YouTube channel AFTV has also caused some friction.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's record for Arsenal across all competitions:
• 78 games
• 50 goals
• 11 assists
The new captain. ⓒ pic.twitter.com/vWVKWw4d5U
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 5, 2019
Aubameyang is said to have liked a number of AFTV’s Instagram posts, including one criticising Emery, leaving his teammates “unimpressed”, but the 30-year-old has now hit back.
In a post on social media, Aubameyang wrote: “I just arrived in Gabon and heard [sic] a lot of b******t.
“I talk with who I want whenever I want and if somebody’s not happy with… you already know.”
The brief message was then followed up with the middle-finger emoji.
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Emery: We are going to support him
Prior to Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Vitoria last Wednesday, Emery announced his decision to appoint Aubameyang as Xhaka’s successor.
The Spaniard offered a glowing assessment of Aubameyang‘s influence in the dressing room and lauded his experience.
“He’s the captain,” he said. “Above all, I can remember how we did the process because last year the captains were Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal.
“They left the team – at the last moment as well, Koscielny. In that moment I decided, and also I used the characteristics to find a captain.
“After, I started with Granit Xhaka because he has the quality to take the captain’s responsibility. Then after the issue, I decided it was better for him not to. Next in line is Aubameyang. The second after him is Bellerin, third is Lacazette and the fourth is Mesut Ozil.
“The first is Aubameyang because he has experience and he has the respect in the dressing room. He was the top scorer last year in the Premier League and also I know he needs time to take that responsibility 100 per cent. But we are going to support him.
“Every player, we are going to support the four captains, and we are going to support him as our first captain because he has also made one extra step to achieve that responsibility.”