Gevorg Ghazaryan told the media he doesn’t think Henrikh Mkhitaryan should travel with Arsenal to face Qarabag in Azerbaijan next month.
After last week’s group stage draw, reports started to surface that Azerbaijan wouldn’t allow Mkhitaryan into the country for the Qarabag match, due to tensions between the country and the Arsenal man’s homeland of Armenia.
Speaking to Vivaro News about his Armenian teammate, Ghazaryan put his view forward. He admitted he believes it would be best for the player to sit out the trip, saying: “I think Henrikh shouldn’t play that match.”
The 29-year-old previously faced this problem with Borussia Dortmund, for a match against Gabala. Although officials would reportedly have allowed him into the country, the Bundesliga club decided against it over safety concerns.
A spokesperson from Arsenal told the media they’ll always prioritise their players’ safety, and plan to look into the situation, but didn’t give any further details on their plans.
Meanwhile Hikmet Hajiyev, spokesperson for the Azerbaijani foreign ministry, gave a statement on the issue as well. Essentially all he said was that they’d deal with it if and when it becomes a problem.
If fellow players think it’s best for Mkhitaryan not to take part, and club officials and foreign ministry representatives don’t seem sure whether Arsenal should bring him along, it’s probably going to end with the 29-year-old staying home. Hopefully Unai Emery’s team can get the job done without him.