The Gunners boss has given an update on the duo’s fitness ahead of a Europa League showdown with Slavia Prague
Mikel Arteta has joked that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Martin Odegaard’s return to Arsenal training will depend on “how they wake up”.
Aubameyang missed Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Sheffield United in the Premier League last weekend due to illness, with it not yet known if he will be back in time for the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final clash with Slavia Prague on Thursday.
Odegaard also sat out the Sheffield United win, as well as the first leg of the tie with Slavia, as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury, and Arteta has delivered an update on both at his latest pre-match press conference.
What’s been said?
Asked if Aubameyang and Odegaard will participate in training on Wednesday, the Arsenal boss told reporters: “Depending on how they wake up. If they wake up better, yes.
“Yesterday none of them could train. Hopefully today it’s a sunnier day so maybe it’s better.”
Aubameyang’s record for Arsenal in 2020-21
Arsenal have relied upon Aubameyang as their main source of goals since his arrival at Emirates Stadium from Borussia Dortmund in January 2020, with the Gabon frontman scoring 84 times in his first 142 outings for the club.
However, only 14 of those efforts have come this term as Aubameyang’s form has mirrored the Gunners’ struggles, with the north Londoners currently ninth in the Premier League table.
How has Odegaard performed for the Gunners?
In stark contrast to Aubameyang, who has faced plenty of criticism for his performances for Arsenal in recent times, Odegaard has become a new hero for supporters after an impressive start to his loan stint in north London.
The Norwegian has slotted into Arteta’s midfield perfectly since joining the Gunners from Real Madrid on a six-month deal in January, featuring in 22 games across all competitions.
It remains to be seen if he’ll return to the Emirates Stadium ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, however, with reports having suggested that Madrid will look to reintegrate him into their first-team squad.
Arsenal’s crunch Slavia test
Arteta could certainly use the talents of Aubameyang and Odegaard when his side travel to the Czech Republic, where Arsenal must score to have any hope of qualifying for the Europa League semi-finals.
The Gunners will likely have to win the competition to continue playing on the continental stage next season due to their lowly Premier League position, but Slavia are holding the advantage after earning a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg of the last-eight tie.