Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been left out of the Borussia Dortmund for Friday night’s Bundesliga match at VfB Stuttgart.
He did not fly with the squad on Thursday, with the club confirming reports via Twitter late in the afternoon that he was left due to “disciplinary reasons,” the exact nature of which have yet to come to light.
It is the second time in little over a year that the striker has been omitted by the club for a disciplinary matter.
Trip to Barcelona and attitude in training possible issues
Reports of his absence from the travelling party emerged on Thursday, with the club’s official Twitter account later replying directly to a fan to confirm the news. “Aubameyang has been omitted from the squad for tomorrow’s game due to disciplinary reasons,” they posted.
Bild reports that the 28-year-old had used designated time off during the international break to visit Barcelona, partying with brother Willy and meeting up with former teammate Ousmane Dembélé, who left Dortmund in the summer for FC Barcelona in somewhat acrimonious circumstances.
Whilst the paper reports that club officials are likely to have been unhappy with his social media posts documenting his trip, it adds that it was not the reason for the suspension, leaving fans in the dark for the exact for his absence for the game against Stuttgart.
Local publication WAZ has suggested though that coaching stuff were being agitated by the Gabon international repeatedly turning up late for training and “considering himself untouchable.”
Yet more problems for Peter Bosz
He was also suspended for a UEFA Champions League game against Sporting Club de Portugal last November after taking an unauthorised trip to Milan. He responded in style that time though, scoring four goals in the following league victory against Hamburger SV.
How Dortmund could do with that kind of form from their key man at the moment, with the suspension the latest blow to a troubled few weeks for the club.
After a stunning start from both player and club, Aubameyang hasn’t found the net since the defeat to RB Leipzig in the middle of October, and Dortmund are without a league win since the end of September.
His absence could be keenly felt at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Friday night, where hosts Stuttgart are unbeaten this season. Boss Peter Bosz will have to decide who should fill the gap up front, with André Schürrle, now fully fit, and youngster Alexander Isak the most likely options, alongside Andriy Yarmolenko and Maximilian Philipp.
No further comment has been made on his availability for next week’s Champions League match against Tottenham Hotspur, or the following weekend’s derby against Schalke 04.
Quotes via Borussia Dortmund and WAZ.