Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quarantining after personal issues, Mikel Arteta reveals
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has missed Arsenal's last three games with personal issues, having confirmed in midweek that his mother had been ill. Mikel Arteta has now confirmed that the club captain is in quarantine and that the Gunners are collaborating with the Premier League and the British government about welcoming him back to the fold.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal at American Express Community Stadium on December 29, 2020 in Brighton, England.
"We have to follow the rules and the protocols right now and the protocols say he cannot be involved at the moment," Arteta said at a press conference after his side's 0-0 draw with Manchester United, which Aubameyang missed.
"He had a family issue he had to attend to and these are the consequences to that. We are working with the Premier League and government about it. He's been looking after his family and now he's in quarantine.
"We have to follow the rules and the protocols right now. And the protocols says that he cannot be involved at the moment. We have to respect that and the doctor is managing the situation currently."
Arsenal were also without Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka for the fixture against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, but Arteta was happy with how his side performed without three key men.
"The fact that we had three of our best players out probably has an impact. But I’m really happy with the players who played today. "
Arsenal have not lost in the Premier League since before Christmas and Arteta is refusing to put a limit on his ambitions for the season after a dramatic uptick in form after a miserable autumn run.
"Well I don’t know but we’re gonna give it a real go. I think the team is in a really good moment.
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I think we are moving in the right direction. So when that’s the case I have to push them inch by inch and make them believe that we can finish the season in a really strong way."
Reflecting on the match with United, defender David Luiz was annoyed that his team could not go on and grab all three points, with Alexandre Lacazette hitting the bar and Willian missing a presentable chance.
"I'm frustrated because we love to win. We tried our best, that's it. We have to try to improve every day, you have to be humble and to admit what you need to improve.
"The boss is doing a great job, the young boys are fantastic and I think we are starting to create a real team with a real atmosphere.
"But if you don't work hard every single day things can change. The boys are happy because we have turned around a very difficult moment in our season.
"You have to be humble because we are far from the first positions. We have to think game by game and at the end of the season we will see how far we can go.
"The ambition is to be fighting for the first positions - that ambition has to be there. This is what we have to put in our minds every single day."