Arsenal have remarkably confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been stripped of the club captaincy.
An official statement by the club on Tuesday explained: "Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday's match against West Ham United.
"We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed. We are fully focused on tomorrow’s match."
Aubameyang's disciplinary breach
The news comes after Mikel Arteta had confirmed before the Southampton match that the Gabon international had indeed been excluded from the match-day squad because of a disciplinary breach.
"I think we have been very consistent that we have certain non-negotiables in the team that we have set ourselves as a club, and he's not involved today."
Should Aubameyang be sold? (Football Terrace)
Why was Aubameyang dropped?
The Athletic reported that Aubameyang had been given permission to fly abroad before the Southampton clash for a personal matter, but 'returned later than agreed'.
David Ornstein and James McNicholas went on to explain that the situation became further complicated by Aubameyang's late arrival proving problematic for Arsenal's COVID-19 protocols.
The entire episode resulted in criticism of Arsenal's decision to maintain Aubameyang as their club captain, which has clearly been acknowledged in the club's response to the developments.
Arsenal's torrid history with captains
It's the second time in just a matter of years that Arsenal have switched captains under controversial circumstances with Granit Xhaka losing the armband in 2019 after an incident with supporters.
The Swiss midfielder lost his temper when Arsenal fans booed him off during a clash with Crystal Palace, duly bringing an end to his short reign as skipper after Laurent Koscielny had left the club.
Even the appointments of Cesc Fabregas, William Gallas and Robin van Persie as leaders of the Premier League giants in recent history haven't necessarily aged well for Gooners.
Where does Aubameyang go from here?
Now, Aubameyang will have to keep his head down and work on repairing his relationship with the fans, club and Arteta by putting in the sort of performances that we know he can deliver.
Since the ex-Borussia Dortmund striker signed his new contract in 2020, Arsenal fans have become frustrated that they haven't seen him produce the goal tallies that he used to churn out so regularly.
Aubameyang has scored just four league goals this season, but there would be no better way for him to bounce back from such a crushing blow than by returning to what he does best: scoring.News Now - Sport News