Aubameyang a doubt for Arsenal's showdown with Man United

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a doubt for Arsenal’s showdown with Manchester United on Saturday, admits Mikel Arteta after captain missed Southampton win to care for his unwell mother

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed Southampton win because his mother is ill
  • Arsenal captain may not be back in time to face Manchester United on Saturday
  • Mikel Arteta did not say whether return is complicated by Covid-19 restrictions

Arsenal could still be without captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the visit of Manchester United on Saturday.

Aubameyang missed the FA Cup defeat at St Mary’s as well as the 3-1 Premier League victory there in midweek, revealing on social media that his absence was due to taking care of his ill mother.

But Mikel Arteta refused to say whether the 31-year-old had been abroad and whether his return would be complicated due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

Mikel Arteta admitted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a doubt for the Manchester United game

Aubameyang missed Southampton win, and Arteta would not confirm if he had gone abroad

‘I don’t know,’ he said when asked if Aubameyang would be back.

‘I spoke with him yesterday. Things are looking better at the moment, but we are going to have to wait and see.’

Asked if Aubameyang had left the country, Arteta replied: ‘He had to support his family and he had to be with them.’

Pushed on the matter of potential quarantine for his captain if he did travel, Arteta said: ‘I don’t know what will happen.’

It is understood that Aubameyang will need a negative Covid test before a return is possible and only then if he is feeling in a suitable condition to play.

The Arsenal star shared this message on social media to explain the situation with his mother

Aubameyang had travelled with the squad for the FA Cup tie on Saturday before leaving just hours before kick-off.

‘Hey guys, Thank you so much for all the messages and calls over the last few days,’ he wrote on Instagram.

‘My mother is going through some health issues and I had to be there for her. She’s already much better now and I will be back home tonight.

‘I’m more than grateful to the doctors and nurses helping her get through this.

‘And of course, thanks to my Arsenal fam for the love yesterday! I’m more determined than ever to keep our momentum going!

Alexandre Lacazette held up the number 14 in tribute to his absent team-mate on Tuesday

‘Thank you all again – I really am beyond blessed to receive this level of support and love from all of you and I can’t wait to be back. – PEA.’

Arteta, who had dedicated the win at Southampton to the Gabon striker, said the club would continue to support Aubameyang as his availability for the weekend fixture remains a mystery.

Aubameyang is not the only key member of Arteta’s squad who could be forced to watch the United game from the sidelines.

Thomas Partey was man of the match as Arsenal won at Old Trafford earlier in the season but he limped out of the victory on Tuesday night – as did in-form youngster Emile Smith Rowe – while Kieran Tierney did not travel to the south coast.

Thomas Partey is also a doubt after limping out of the win at Southampton in midweek

‘Let’s see how they come through training,’ Arteta replied when asked about the fitness of Partey and Smith Rowe.

‘They had some discomfort in different parts. We will have to wait and see how they evolve. We still have some days until the game, but not long, so let’s see how they are.’

Tierney, at least, is expected to feature with his omission in midweek down to not risking any further setback as he prepares for the United clash.

Martin Odegaard joined on loan from Real Madrid on Wednesday and will train with his new team-mates for the first time just two days out from the game, although it is believed his lack of match fitness means he is highly unlikely to start.

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