Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta mentioned that he is ‘pretty positive’ that club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will return to action this season after his bout of malaria. The Gabonese striker played the first two games after returning from the international break before becoming unwell. The club announced initially that ‘illness had sidelined the striker. But Aubameyang took to Instagram to reveal further details. He revealed that he hadn’t been “feeling myself the last couple of weeks but will be back stronger than ever soon!”
The Gunners beat Slavia Prague in the quarterfinals of the Europa league without their captain. A mouth-watering reunion lies in wait in the semifinals against Villareal. With the Gunners languishing in 9th place, the Europa League remains their only realistic chance of playing in Europe next season.
“I have spoken to him many times,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said. “He was at the training ground yesterday for the first time. He’s still being checked by the doctors, it’s taking him a while. It’s a difficult disease to go through. He had some tough moments and we just want to give him every single tool to make him available and fit as quick as possible, because we need him.”
“Well, I hope so,” Arteta replied when asked whether he expected Aubameyang to play again this season. “The way he was looking yesterday, he was in a much better place, and hopefully once he has started to feel better with more and he regains a bit of the weight that he’s lost, he’s going to be able to train and at that moment with the desire that he has to be back, I’m pretty positive that that will be the case.”
Aubameyang has scored 22 goals from his 36 appearances in his first two full seasons for the club. This season he has seen a dip in form netting just 9 times in his 25 appearances in the Premier League. All Arsenal fans will be hoping that their captain can return to his lethal best next season.