Mikel Arteta has held talks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after dropping the Arsenal captain for Sunday’s north London derby – but says he cannot guarantee the striker will start against Olympiacos on Thursday.
Aubameyang was axed after breaching pre-match protocol and remained an unused substitute as Arsenal came from behind to beat rivals Tottenham 2-1.
He then left the Emirates Stadium instead of joining his fellow substitutes for a warm-down session on the pitch.
Speaking after the game, Arteta said he had to discipline Aubameyang to sustain the club’s long-term “foundation”.
On the eve of the second leg of Arsenal’s Europa League round-of-16 clash with Olympiacos, Arteta revealed he and his skipper had cleared the air – but stopped short of saying he would be recalled, with the Gunners 3-1 ahead in the tie.
“Yes,” he replied when asked if everything with Aubameyang had been sorted.
“We talked, everything has been resolved in a really positive way. So we move forward.
“Everybody has to obviously perform at the highest level to earn his place in the team and there is no exceptions there.
“We will try and put a really competitive team out to try and win the game.”
Meanwhile, Mohamed Elneny praised Aubameyang’s qualities both on and off the pitch.
“Auba is just one of the best players we have,” he said.
“To me outside of the pitch he is an amazing person. Mikel has spoken about it and it has finished everything but as a team-mate he is one of the best.
“Auba is our captain and he always supports us on and off the pitch and he is an amazing person as well.”
Arsenal were knocked out by Olympiacos at the round-of-32 stage last season – despite defending a first-leg lead.
Arteta does not consider the contest finished this year, even if late goals in Athens from Gabriel Magalhaes and Elneny gives them a greater cushion this time around.
“Absolutely not,” he replied when asked if the tie was over.
“From what I’ve seen from Olympiacos and the amount of games that they have won in the final minutes and the belief that they have in that team, it will be tough and they will try to put us under real pressure. There is still a lot to play for.
“It is a really important game for us, nothing has been decided – there is still another 90 minutes at least to play for and we know it is going to be tough and everyone has to be ready.
“We have the opportunity to make changes, we have five substitutions so we will decide the best team to try to beat them.”