Arsenal are understandably not happy.
With a host of first team squad members away on international duty over the past two weeks, the issue of fatigue and burnout has been front and centre for Arsenal.
Issues such as those are, mostly, unavoidable, but the situation regarding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the Gabon national team has caused quite the stir.
Due to play an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Gambia the following day, the entire squad was made to set up camp in an airport overnight with the authorities not granting them entrance into the country with apparent issues regarding their passports, among other concerns.
Eventually, six hours after arriving, they were allowed to board their team bus at 6AM. Aubameyang made his feelings clear on social media.
As expected, Arsenal weren’t best pleased with the ordeal, feelings confirmed by national team manager Patrice Neveu on Canal Plus, who claims Arsenal won’t let Aubameyang link up with the national side again.
"“Arsenal called Pierre-Emerick. After seeing him in those conditions, it’s over… They won’t let him come again, and it will be the same for players from other clubs.“It’s understandable. They are high level players and when they come on international duty, they need to have a minimum of comfort”."
He added further, on L’Echo Republicain:
"“All the players tried to sleep on the airport floor. imagine if Aubameyang, a player who costs more than €1m/month, gets injured… The English club can be annoyed after what’s happened. To make a player sleep the floor…”"
The situation was as remarkable as it was ridiculous, with it coming as little shock that Gabon fell to defeat to Gambia in their match that day, although only by a minor margin as the hosts ran out 2-1 winners. No definitive reason has been revealed for the delay, although Africa Foot United suggest the COVID-19 tests taken by the Gabon team weren’t accepted by Gambian authorities.
Nevertheless, refusing to let him join up with the national squad is a strong stance to take, and Aubameyang’s view on the matter, who is captain of the Black Panthers, is not known.