Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had permission to leave Arsenal squad for early link-up with Gabon, says Arteta

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  • Arsenal
    Arsenal
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Mikel Arteta
    Mikel Arteta
    Spanish association football player and manager
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal did give permission for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join up early with Gabon ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations as it was best for “his fitness and to keep competing”.

Aubameyang has not been involved in any of Arsenal’s last five match day squads and he was stripped of the captaincy earlier this month.

The 32-year-old has now gone to join up with Gabon ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations and he has done so early with Arsenal’s permission.

Arteta has confirmed Gabon asked for Aubameyang to join up early and Arsenal accepted their request, with the forward due to be left out of the squad to face Manchester City on Saturday.

“We had a letter from the national team asking to release the player,” said Arteta.

“The player wasn’t going to be involved today so for his fitness and to keep competing, it was the right thing to do.

“At the moment, he’s gone [to AFCON]. He needs to focus on the national team.

“We had the conversation that that was the best possible way to do it. As I said before, we will address that game by game.”

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