Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that star striker Pierre-EmerickAubameyang won’t be available for the crucial Premier League home clash with fellow top-four contender West Ham United. Mikel Arteta made this known during his pre-match presser on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the West Ham game as he revealed that the Gabonese striker is still serving his punishment after breaching the team’s disciplinary rules. Aubameyang had also been exempted from the Arsenal squad for the Southampton game on Sunday. Without Aubameyang in the Arsenal team, the Gunners thrashed Southampton 3-0 at home thanks to the goals from Frenchman Alexandre Lacazette, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Magalhaes. It was the biggest win of the season for Arsenal in the Premier League this season.

Mikel Arteta also confirmed thatAubameyang has been removed as the Arsenal skipper during his latest press conference and that the striker had to accept the decision. When asked about the team skipper, the Arsenal manager said that a decision has not been made before adding that there’s a leadership committee in the team involving former skipper Granit Xhaka and the aforementioned Lacazette who has always been the next skipper option whenever Aubameyangis not on the pitch.

Champions League qualification is the target for Mikel Arteta and his players this season and only a place in the top four of the Premier League will make that happen. They can boost their top-four credentials by beating West Ham United at home to replace their opponents as the fourth best team.

Ahead of the London Derby clash between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium,the Hammers are in fourth spot on the Premier League log and they have two more points than the Gunners in sixth place, while Manchester United are one point off fourth spot in fifth spot, but they had their game postponed this week. To this effect, Arsenal know a win will get them fourth spot this week.