Despite a frustrating Premier League campaign that has them looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League, Arsenal still have one avenue to get into Europe’s top club competition.
That avenue is by winning the Europa League, where they have looked a threat to raise the trophy this season. However, their big winter acquisition is growing frustrated with the fact that he cannot participate in what amount to Arsenal’s most important matches over the rest of the season.
That star, of course, is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who cannot take part in Arsenal’s Europa League contests for the rest of the season. This is due to his being cup-tied from his appearances in the competition with Borussia Dortmund earlier in the campaign. Because of those rules, Aubameyang has expressed his displeasure with a system that forces him to wait at least a week between games. He has also stated his disappointment in not being able to help his team.
Of course, in the Europa League there has not been much help needed for Arsenal as they have cruised past each opponent for the most part. With the exception of an ugly loss to Osterunds of Swedish club football, the team has shown that it can absolutely win the competition to get back to the Champions League. Having Aubameyang available during the later rounds of the competition would be helpful, but Arsenal will have to do things without him if they are to enjoy European football next season.
In a way, it can be argued that Aubameyang not being able to play in the Europa League is a good thing. The team has been humiliated on multiple occasions in Premier League play, and having a fresh striker up top each week to help right the ship is a good thing. While winning trophies is the goal, tiring out Aubameyang in midweek matches against obscure opponents would run the risk of Arsenal suffering even greater humiliation by sliding further down the league table. However, without the Gabon international leading the line, anyone wary of putting money on Arsenal to win the Europa League could take advantage of one of William Hill’s bet £10 get £30 Europa League football free bets.
Aubameyang is already looking ahead to next year as well, where he will be eligible to play for Arsenal in all of the competitions that they take part in. He recently caused quite the buzz when he hinted at the possibility of Ousmane Dembele coming over to join the Gunners after the season. While that would be quite the duo for Arsenal, supporters should be excited for a full season of Aubameyang whether or not he can recruit his former teammate to join his current squad.
It is the mentality of any competitor to want to compete at all times, to give his team the best chance to win. However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be glad that he cannot compete in the Europa League in spite of how wrong that sounds on its surface. When he is fit for a full season next year, he will be glad that was the case.