Noel Whelan doesn’t believe that we are likely to see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang play for Arsenal ever again.
The Gabon international hasn’t featured since our loss to Everton on December 6, with Auba believed to have broken an agreement with the boss.
He’s since been left out of the playing squad for four consecutive matches, officially stripped of the captaincy, and there are reports that he is also being forced to train away from the senior squad at present.
Whelan believes that the current situation makes it ‘unlikely’ that the forward could ever return to the line-up, although admittedly it is impossible to completely rule it out at present.
“Look, you never say never,” Whelan told the Football Insider.
“But Mikel Arteta is stubborn and a real disciplinarian and Aubameyang simply hasn’t matched up to his expectations.
“He’s shown that disrespect to the players and to the staff – and not for the first time. It seems unlikely he will be coming back from this one and play for Arsenal again.
“Martinelli has really stepped up to the plate and taken his opportunity – and they’re winning football matches at the moment, which makes it hard for a player to be breaking the door down.
“I think Arteta will stick to his guns. He’s set the standard and when players break that trust, it’s going to be very hard to win it back. Martinelli is making that decision a lot easier for him.”
While it is hard to know all the details, apart from what the club and the manager has made public thus far, the rest could turn out to be rumours. Even so, the fact that he remains out of the playing squad for four matches already cannot be a good sign. If he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to play, you’d think that would be communicated, but that isn’t the case.
We still have two more games until the transfer window opens for January, which could well decide his fate, and we had already hoped that a new striker would have been arriving to help us finish the season in style. The need for one appears much stronger at present…
Do you expect Auba to play for Arsenal again?