Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has stated that the club is doing everything within its power to have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang available to face Manchester United.
Aubameyang has been missing from the Gunners’ last two matchday squads and confirmed yesterday that his mother Margarita Crespo Aubameyang was in ill, thanking fans and team-mates for their support during a trying time for his family.
The Gabon international will have to produce a negative Covid-19 test before he can return to action, having left the Arsenal bubble, while Arteta is also wary of rushing his skipper back into the fold if he is not in the right mental state to lead the squad.
Speaking to the press on Thursday, Arteta said: “I spoke with him yesterday. Things are looking better at the moment, but we are going to have to wait and see. He is our captain and one of the most important players.
“We are doing everything we can to have him [back] as a quick as possible – but understanding that he has been through difficult days, that he had to support his family and we were here to support him as well with the time that he needed to get that support.”
It is unclear as to whether Aubameyang had travelled abroad to visit his mother, with cross-country travel potentially throwing up more coronavirus-related guidelines that must be adhered to before the striker can be cleared to play.
Pressed on the subject of potentially having to his captain self-quarantine, Arteta said: “I don’t know if that will happen. He had to support his family and he had to be with them.”
The Gabonese forward’s absence was not too keenly felt at St. Mary’s on Tuesday night as his replacement Nicolas Pepe was able to score against Southampton.
Mikel Arteta also has Gabriel Martinelli,Reiss Nelson and Willian as options to replace Aubameyang on the left hand side.
However, they will be hoping to have him back as soon as possible with Saturday’s game against Manchester United kicking off a tough run of fixtures throughout the month of February.