Martin Keown fears for Aubameyang's mental health after being frozen out by Arsenal and stripped of captaincy

MARTIN KEOWN has called on former club Arsenal to take care of axed skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gabon international was stripped of the captaincy by boss Mikel Arteta for a series of ‘disciplinary breaches’.

And he was left out of the squad for the 2-0 victory over West Ham – his latest matchday snub at the Emirates.

Now Gunners legend Keown has spoken out in support of the 32-year-old, calling on club officials to consider his mental wellbeing.

Keown told BT Sport: “I do feel it was a very bold decision, to pull the captaincy from Aubameyang.

“It could have been left till the end of the season because I just fear for Aubameyang and how we get him back onto the field.

“He’s going to be an important player at some point, you don’t have that sort of quality and just disappear from the group. That’s my biggest concern.

“It’s a very bold decision and I would have waited for the summer, it would have been safer to do that.

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“Protect him a little bit, we talk about mental health, we’re not sure of the mental health of Aubameyang right now.”

The striker is understood to have riled Arteta after returning back to England from France a day later than agreed.

Auba is reported to have flown to France last week to collect his mum and bring her back with him, agreeing to return by Wednesday night.

But he instead arrived back on Thursday morning, with Covid testing protocols meaning he could not take part in training that day.

That irked Arteta and the club captain was told to train at home alone before missing out on last Saturday’s win over Southampton.

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