Martin Keown tells Mikel Arteta to strip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the Arsenal captaincy even if he stays

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took over as Arsenal captain from Granit Xhaka earlier this season
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took over as Arsenal captain from Granit Xhaka earlier this season (Picture: Getty)

Martin Keown has implored Mikel Arteta to consider stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the Arsenal captaincy should he decide to remain at the club without signing a new deal.

The Gabon international’s future remains the subject of intense speculation with a host of Europe’s heavyweight clubs monitoring the situation of a player who has less than 12 months remaining on his current contract.

Arteta remains desperate to keep hold of the 30-year-old who is on course to win a second successive Premier League Golden Boot Award, but Arsenal’s precarious financial position means the club could be forced to listen to offers for their prize asset this summer.

Southampton are in similar predicament with their current skipper, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who is close to entering the last year of his contract.

Saints boss Ralf Hassenhuttl has warned the Denmark international he will lose the armband unless he commits his future to the south coast club and Keown would like Arteta to take a similar stance with Aubameyang.

Arsenal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are scheduled to return to Premier League action on June 17 against Manchester City
Arsenal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are scheduled to return to Premier League action on June 17 against Manchester City (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s a real concern for Arsenal, recently with [Mesut] Ozil, they lost [Aaron] Ramsey, they lost [Alexis] Sanchez,’ Keown told talkSPORT.

‘First of all I like the core beliefs of Hasenhuttl, you can hear what he’s saying about Hojbjerg and I think that’s where it needs to come from Arteta.

‘We’re hearing now that, unlike [Unai] Emery who wasn’t involved apparently in the Ramsey situation, him leaving, he’s getting involved.

‘I think the message needs to be to the player ‘look, we can’t have you captaining the club if there’s uncertainty around your contract’, in the last year of his contract, that can’t be allowed to happen.’

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