Arsenal face Newcastle United on Sunday in the Premier League and their most prized asset, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be an absentee for this game.
Aubameyang has not been a constant figure in the Arsenal side this season for various reasons but despite making 25 appearances in the league, the forward has only scored nine goals so far.
He has missed a couple of games in the past few weeks due to malaria and according to Mikel Arteta, the 31-year-old might not be 100% fit to be named in the starting line-up on Sunday vs the Magpies.
“He hasn’t trained much, he is still not at the level in his physique that he should be to start,” Arteta said on Friday.
“We will see again tomorrow how he is.
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“Yesterday he could only play a few minutes but we managed to get him on the pitch, which is great news for us.”
Aubameyang has clearly not had the same sort of impact this season and there’s a big chance the club could look to part ways with him in the summer window.
But right now, all the manager is thinking about is the second leg against Villarreal.
Players like Martinelli or Nicolas Pepe are more than capable of featuring and impressing against a team like Newcastle United but Arteta will need Aubameyang back next week or else, the Gunners could crash out of the Europa League.
In the first leg, Aubameyang played only five minutes towards the end of the match but the Arsenal manager will be hoping that the forward can be fully fit and make start at the Emirates next week.