The Europa League final will be played at the Baku Olympic Stadium which is in Azerbaijan and this is where the main problem lies for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Arsenal man is an Armenian citizen and there have been long-standing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
And there is a risk that the midfielder might be subject of violence if he goes to play in Baku which is the exact reason why the player did not make the trip to Azerbaijan for a group-stage game this campaign.
A couple of days ago, UEFA put out a statement in which they said that they had received assurances from Azerbaijan’s soccer governing body.
“Assurances were sought on this matter by UEFA and Arsenal FC, with the Azerbaijan Football Association confirming that there would be no problem for the player in question to enter and stay in Azerbaijan and that all necessary security measures would be in place,” UEFA had said(as reported).
But this statement did not mention anything from the Azerbaijan government which means the participation of Henrikh Mkhitaryan was still a major doubt.
Now though, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has indicated that Henrikh Mkhitaryan can play in the Europa League final in Baku.
This will come as a huge relief for Arsenal since Mkhitaryan has been a key figure for Emery this season.
While the Armenian’s absence would not have been a major cause of concern for the Gunners boss but given that he will be available to play, Henrikh Mkhitaryan will surely be named in the matchday squad.
This means that Mesut Ozil should start the final on the bench and will only come on in case he is needed.