Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has returned to Arsenal early following an injury scare against Libya, but there are conflicting reports over whether he’s actually injured.
According to Gabonese newspaper The Union (via Afrik-Foot), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang initially flew to Egypt with the rest of the squad, before taking a private flight chartered by Arsenal back to London.
Gabon had a match against Egypt on Tuesday, but Aubameyang wasn’t in the squad.
There are mixed reports over why Aubameyang has left the Gabon camp. Some claim he’s injured, whilst others suggest Arsenal and the Gabonese Federation simply came to an agreement for him to return.
FilGoal.com report that a spokesperson for FEGAFOOT informed them Aubameyang isn’t injured, but simply rested.
But both options seem believable. As we mentioned after his penalty goal for Gabon last week, there was an injury concern for Aubameyang in the final minutes.
The Arsenal captain was initially stretchered off the field, but he did appear to be fine afterwards, walking around unaided and dancing along with the squad on Instagram.
So it’s not impossible Aubameyang has a knock.
On the other hand, Egypt’s draw with Angola on Friday had already ended any lingering Gabon hopes of finishing top of their World Cup qualification group.
The Egypt-Gabon clash was a dead rubber, and that was evident by how heavily both teams rotated.
Arsenal may well have been aware of that and asked Gabon to let Aubameyang return early for a more important game against Liverpool this weekend.
It could even be a mixture of the two options, with Aubameyang returning to Arsenal as a precaution to avoid any more serious injury in a game he didn’t need to play.
We’ll have to wait for an update from Arsenal’s side, which we’ll hopefully get before long now that Aubameyang’s back in North London.