Mikel Arteta has warned club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that he will have to regain his place in the Arsenal squad after being sidelined from the starting line-up to face Spurs shortly before kick-off.
Aubameyang was left on the bench in the North London derby victory on Sunday, after arriving late at the stadium apparently stuck in traffic.
Speaking ahead of the club’s crucial clash with Olympiacos at the Emirates Stadium, Arteta were in a hurry to see if their captain would return directly to the squad on Thursday night.
Arteta told reporters, via Objective: “No, everyone obviously has to perform at the highest level to earn their place in the team and there are no exceptions there. We will try to put together a really competitive team to try to win the game. ”
Leaving Aubameyang out of the North London derby, a game that matters so much to the club’s loyalists was a bold move by Arteta and one who undoubtedly would have seen him criticized had the Gunners not taken all three points.
According to The Athletic, Aubameyang left Emirates Stadium in his Ferrari 20 minutes after the full-time whistle, having refused to take part in the warm-up with the other unused substitutes.
However, during his press conference ahead of the Olympiacos game, Arteta said that there have been “ positive discussions ” between the two since.
Aubameyang’s form hasn’t been so impressive this season, but despite the general consensus that he has vastly underperformed, he has still managed 14 goals in 29 appearances.
If the Gunners are to go far in Europe and push for European places in the Premier League by the end of the season, they’ll need their talismanic striker to be in top form – that means moving on from the incident that took took place on Sunday.