Graeme Souness praises Mikel Arteta’s decision to strip the captaincy from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


Graeme Souness calls Mikel Arteta’s decision to strip the captaincy from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a ‘big moment’ but a sign that ‘he’s put his foot down’ – as he praises Arsenal youngsters Martinelli, Saka and Smith Rowe

  • Mikel Arteta stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of captaincy on Monday 
  • Gabon international axed as captain after ‘latest disciplinary breach’
  • Aubameyang has been banished from first-team training this week
  • Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe scored in win over Leeds 











Graeme Souness has praised Mikel Arteta for ‘putting his foot down’ by stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captaincy.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker was axed as Arsenal captain on Monday, on Monday, for what the club described as his ‘latest disciplinary breach’ after he returned late from a trip to France to visit his sick mum.

As reported by Sportsmail on Thursday, the Gunners have since banished the 32-year-old from first-team training this week and Aubameyang could be left out in the cold until next year at least.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been banished from Arsenal's first-team training

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (left) received praise for stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) of the captaincy earlier this week

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Graeme Souness said it was a big moment for Arteta and that a ruthless approach had paid off

 Graeme Souness said it was a big moment for Arteta and that a ruthless approach had paid off

Speaking after Arsenal went fourth in the Premier League with a resounding 4-1 win away at Leeds, Souness said Arteta’s ruthless approach had paid off. 

‘That was a big moment for him. He’s a young manager and he’s put his foot down,’ he said on Sky Sports.

‘Prior to today’s game they [Arsenal] had a poor record away from home.’ 

Souness also said Arsenal had some ‘special players’ in Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli. 

Martinelli’s brace and Saka’s goal put Arsenal 3-0 up within 42 minutes at Elland Road, before Smith Rowe came off the bench in the second half to restore his side’s three-goal lead after Raphinha’s penalty had threatened to spark a comeback.

The trio have combined for nine goals and four assists in the Gunners’ last six outings and have become regulars in Arteta’s team and Souness believes they have a bright future ahead.

Gabriel Martinelli scored a first half brace

Bukayo Saka scored a deflected effort

Gabriel Martinelli (L) scored a brace and Bukayo Saka (R) also netted in Arsenal’s win at Leeds

‘They will take confidence. In Saka and Martinelli, they’re both 20 years older. They’re both direct, they’re both quick, they can only get better, barring they don’t get serious injuries. 

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‘They’re special players. They’ll be a real asset to Arsenal. They’re two very promising young men.’ 

Speaking of Smith Rowe, who at 21 is a year older than Saka and Martinelli, Souness added:  

‘I think he’s going to be a player. He’s got all the assets you need to be a player at this level. He’s rapid, he gets his shots off and he can finish.’

‘I like him. When you watch him play, everything he does it at a sprint. He’s powerful, he can make a pass. I really like him.’

Emile Smith Rowe came off the bench to score his seventh league goal of the season

Emile Smith Rowe came off the bench to score his seventh league goal of the season

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