Paul Merson thinks Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be in Mikel Arteta’s squad for their next match against West Ham on Wednesday.
The Gabon international was dropped from the squad for the Gunners 3-0 win over Southampton at the weekend with Arteta leaving him out over a “disciplinary breach”.
Arteta would not be drawn on the specifics of the incident and it remains to be seen whether Aubameyang will remain the club captain.
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But Merson thinks it’s more of a problem for Arsenal than it is for Aubameyang with the striker on a long-term contract on big wages.
“This is not going to be a problem for Aubameyang because he’s got an unbelievable contract at the club,” Merson said in his Sky Sports column.
“However, it’s a major problem for Arsenal. Who’s going to take him on those wages? Absolutely nobody in the whole wide world.
“And there’s his age too. If he was 27, they’d be queuing up around the corner for him, but not now at the age of 32.
“It’s a big problem for Arsenal and Arteta.”
When asked whether Aubameyang will play against West Ham tomorrow, Merson added: “At the end of the day, he’s had his punishment. He’s been late, he’s been dropped, and they have won.
“I’m sure he’ll be a sub for this game. The manager did do the right thing, but now don’t start chopping your nose off to spite your face. For me, he will be back involved with the squad and that’s it, but he has got to be careful. The Arsenal fans will start losing patience with him.
“You are playing for the Arsenal, you are captain of Arsenal and all of a sudden he keeps getting left out for disciplinary reasons like being late or whatever. They are not things he should be doing.
“Will he play? Is he going to play well in the game and put in a shift? If I know he’s going to do that then he plays for Arsenal. He does set the youngsters off because they do look up to him on the pitch.
“He is a good player, and he scores goals, and when he does play well the others around him play well, but off the field he’s got to be better.”