Unai Emery could be forced to leave out Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Europa League final squad.
Arsenal are pondering about the availability of Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the UEFA Europa League final. The Gunners attacker hails from Armenia, and the ongoing heated political problems between Azerbaijan and Armenia is causing a turmoil for the club and player himself.
The club held up a meeting with UEFA for a solution over Mkhitaryan’s accessibility to Baku for the Europa League final setup with their arch-rivals Chelsea later this month. The Gunners decision will be decided by early next week at the latest, but there is an abundance of frustration within the camp with one of their players could be forced to miss out of the clash because of safety concerns, according to the English publication, Guardian.
Both the player and club are disappointed about the prospect of staying back in London. Although Mkhitaryan has not been a starter for Arsenal, he has featured in eleven out of fourteen games, and not one of his teammates has spent more minutes than the Armenian in the same time span.
It is not realistic for Arsenal to pull off the competition, with so much stake in that competition which would automatically guide to the Champions League should they be crowned as Champions on May 29th. The most important part is club should not be forced to leave him, and a player under UEFA jurisdiction should not feel pushed to miss one of its showpiece finals because of his nationality.
During the group stages, Unai Emery was not hesitant about the possibility of leaving him out of the squad when the Gunners played Qarabag. In the reverse leg, an away fan ran onto the pitch with Republic of Artsakh flag, which caused displeasure to the home and away side at the Emirates Stadium.
It was an unnecessary moment which caused tension because of political discrepancies. The Gunners will be forced to take a decision and the reaction currently does not look positive.
Here’s how Twitter reacted..
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) May 16, 2019
Arsenal are expecting to leave Henrik Mkhitaryan at home for the Europa League final over safety concerns and are furious about it. What a thing. https://t.co/6OszHCSAuc
— Amy Lawrence (@amylawrence71) May 16, 2019
In last year’s qualifier in Baku, Arsenal left Mkhitaryan at home; the Azerbaijani coach said then: “If five or ten people can’t control themselves, the whole crowd would support them. It’s better for everyone that he didn’t come.”https://t.co/Pesz9MC9fD
— Joshua Kucera (@joshuakucera) May 10, 2019
Arsenal statement on Henrikh Mkhitaryan: We are seeking guarantees from UEFA that it will be safe for Henrikh Mikhitaryan to travel to Baku for the Europa League Final, which both Arsenal and Micki require for him to be included within our squad.
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) May 10, 2019
Full story here. It’s nothing short of ludicrous that one of Arsenal’s highest-paid, most important attackers will be unable to play in the most significant match of their season.https://t.co/DGoxw6EQrc
— Sam Dean (@SamJDean) May 10, 2019
Arsenal will take on Chelsea in the finals of the UEFA Europa League on May 29 at Baku, Azerbaijan.