Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been given permission to join up with his international side Gabon ahead of Arsenal’s upcoming clash with Manchester City.
The forward has been out of contention in recent weeks, with Mikel Arteta having taken a stand after his latest disciplinary breach, dropping him as captain also.
The team has seemingly flourished in his absence, winning each of the five matches since taking the decision to drop him, with Alexandre Lacazette stepping up as temporary captain in the PL.
Auba’s return to action will now be delayed further after he was released early to join up with international side, as reported in the Metro, with their first match of the AFCON scheduled to take place on January 10 against Comoros, before taking on both Ghana and Morocco on January 14 and 18 respectively.
Arsenal have five matches scheduled up until the 18, and depending on his side’s results, he could well return in time to take on Burnley on January 22, although it would seem unlikely that he would be fully prepared if he plays the full 90 minutes on the 18th.
It’s a strange situation at present. Aubameyang has been unused for our last five matches, not even warming the bench during this time, and we will have gone at least 10 matches without him before he tries to make his return.
Will Aubameyang use his time away to concentrate on his football and clear his mind, before returning to clear the air with the manager and his team-mates? Will Arsenal be lining up a replacement for Auba while he is away in case the he isn’t able to mend things with Arteta?