Mikel Arteta says he will consider recalling captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the Arsenal side for Thursday’s crunch Europa League clash with Olympiacos after drawing a line under his breach of discipline.
Aubameyang was dropped for yesterday’s 2-1 derby win against Tottenham after he arrived late for a pre-match team meeting.
The Arsenal captain had been due to start but he was replaced in the starting XI by Alexandre Lacazette, who scored the winner from a second-half penalty to give the Gunners a deserved victory.
Aubameyang was an unused substitute and Arteta insisted after the game the issue had been “dealt with” and that he would be available for selection to face Olympiacos.
“I draw the line, it’s done,” said Arteta, whose side have one foot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League after beating Olympiacos 3-1 in the first leg in Athens. “We move to the [next] thing. He is available for selection and let’s enjoy the victory.”
Arteta has strict demands when it comes to player discipline and said he axed Aubameyang to protect Arsenal’s long-term “foundations”.
“It’s the foundations and the platform that we can build something medium and long term that is sustainable,” said Arteta. “That can bring us joy and happiness. Without that, I don’t believe it would happen. That’s why I keep talking about it and acting on it.
“I made what I thought was the right decision [with Aubameyang]. It’s been dealt with, so now let’s move on.”