When will Arsenal’s Aubameyang return to play? Mikel Arteta deflects after win vs. West Ham

Mikel Arteta has refused to say whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be eligible for Arsenal’s next Premier League match as the striker’s exile continues.

Aubameyang was not considered for selection on Dec. 15ย as Arsenal defeated West Ham 2-0 at Emirates Stadium to jump into the top four.

It was the second straight game Aubameyang missed in a week that has seen him stripped of the club captaincy following a breach of discipline.

MORE: Why Aubameyang was stripped of the captain’s armband

Following the win over the Hammers, Arteta was asked by BT Sport if Aubameyang would feature in Arsenal’s next match.

The head coach replied: “He wasn’t eligible for this game [vs. West Ham]ย and that’s it. This game is gone. We will discuss it in the near future.”

Arteta also praised his side’s response amid a tumultuous week, saying: “They were fully focused. They wanted to show how strong we are as a team. The performance, the attitude and the commitment they showed today is exactly what we are as a club.

“I expect it from every player โ€” to stick to our values. We will talk about [Aubameyang] another day. Today I want to talk about the game.”

MORE: Should Arsenal transfer Aubameyang in the winter window?

What did Aubameyang do?

Arteta initially dropped the striker for Arsenal’s match against Southampton at the weekend after he was absent from training the day before.

After theย 3-0 win over Saints, Arsenal released a statement saying Aubameyang had been stripped of the club’s captaincy and would also not be considered for selection against the Hammers.

MORE: Can Arsenal finish in top four? West Ham was a sign

In the statement, Arteta said: “The decision that we have taken as a club is very clear. It is because we believe that he has failed to be committed at the level that we all expect and agreed.

“That commitment and passion has to be there. Unfortunately, it wasnโ€™t.”

Arsenal will next be in action against Leeds forย their 18th match of the season on Saturday, Dec. 18ย as they look to solidify their grip on a top-four spot.

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