Arsenal and Mikel Arteta have suffered a double blow ahead of their Premier League opener against Brentford.
Firslty, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to miss the game at the Brentford Community Stadium tonight, as per Goal, who have indicated that illness is the likely reason for the 32-year-old’s absence.
Despite not enjoying his best season in 2020/21, there was hope for the Gabon international to rediscover the goalscoring form that has seen him become a fan favourite following his move from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.
In fact, speaking ahead of the game, Arteta outlined Aubameyang’s hunger to get back to his old ways during Arsenal’s pre-season.
“Since he came back, he looked with the right mindset and tried to put the last season [behind him], which was difficult for everybody not just for him, for many different reasons, and go back to the level that he can achieve,” Arteta said.
“He knows and we know with his level this team can achieve much better things.”
But Aubameyang won’t get the chance to get his season off to a flying start tonight now that he’s been ruled out of the trip to west London.
With games against Chelsea and Manchester City on the horizon, Arteta will be hopeful of having his captain available to face the Champions League holders and reigning Premier League champions respectively.
However, to add to the Spaniard’s woes, The Athletic have reported that Alexandre Lacazette will also be unavailable for selection.
As Aubameyang has been operating from the left-wing for most of pre-season, his absence opens up a spot on the flanks.
Although it does leave Arteta with somewhat of a selection dilemma as Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Willian are all options to operate from the left in the Arsenal’s captain’s place.
Although the latter did not feature in the final two pre-season outings, Martinelli has only just returned after representing Brazil at the Olympics and Saka got a few minutes under his belt against Tottenham last weekend.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian and youngster Folarin Balogun are the candidates to lead the line in Lacazette’s absence.
Source by Football London