Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted he doesn’t know when club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be able to return to the pitch.
The striker was forced out of their FA Cup tie against Southampton on Saturday due to a personal issue.
No further detail was given, and Arteta named goalkeepers Matt Ryan and Runar Alex Runarsson on the bench instead.
Arsenal crashed out of the cup, but Aubameyang remained in the minds of supporters.
However, he was also listed as unavailable for the Gunners’ second trip to Southampton in the space of a week, as they won 3-1 in the league on Tuesday night.
And afterwards, Arteta admitted he doesn’t know when Aubameyang will be available to play again, but insisted the forward has the full support of everyone at the club.
Arsenal host Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday, and Arteta will be hoping his talisman will be able to play.
When asked if he has a potential return date for Aubameyang, Arteta replied: "I don’t know.
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"The issue is still going. It’s not resolved yet.
“He needs a little bit of time and we have to respect and support that."
Speaking after the cup tie, Arteta admitted it would be hard for him to replace Aubameyang’s goalscoring output in the tie if he is unable to play much longer, but insisted there would be no chance of him being rushed back.
"Of course, it will be a problem," he said.
"Because he’s our top striker and the one who’s scored the most goals and our captain, a really important player in the team.
"We have to respect the time. Let's see. I don’t have enough information right now to see how things are evolving. Hopefully they will go in the right direction."
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