Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss the final of Europe’s finest cup competition next week due to safety concerns, more on the situation here…
We are set to play Chelsea in the Europa League final next Wednesday night in Baku, Azerbaijan, but sadly, Armenian Mkhitaryan will not play a part.
Unai Emery was understandably upset at the omission and said:
“It is bad news but we cannot do anything for these issues, it is a very, very personal decision and we need to respect him. We have to understand the political problems…”
A statement from UEFA tho, claims they are tried their utmost to get Mkhitaryan to play:
“Working alongside Arsenal FC, UEFA sought and received assurances regarding the player’s safety in Azerbaijan from the highest authorities in the country. As a result of these guarantees, a comprehensive security plan was developed and given to the club. While the club acknowledges the efforts that UEFA and the Azeri government have gone to in this matter, we respect the personal decision not to travel with the player…”
Mkhitaryan has already made 11 appearances in this season’s Europa League and scored for Manchester United in his last final appearance, Unai Emery said:
“We have thoroughly explored all the options for Micki to be part of the squad but after discussing this with Micki and his family we have collectively agreed he will not be in our travelling party. We have written to UEFA expressing our deep concerns about this situation. Micki has been a key player in our run to the final so this is a big loss for us from a team perspective. We’re also very sad that a player will miss out on a major European final in circumstances such as this, as it is something that comes along very rarely in a footballer’s career. ‘Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend…”
According to the Daily Mail, it looks like we have set up a weird looking friendly at London Colney ahead of the clash, which could see us inexplicably qualify for Europe’s second favourite club competition, the Champions League. They claim here that we are set to play Austrian side LASK Linz on Thursday this week as a warm up ahead of next weeks’ game.