Mikel Arteta provides update on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of Southampton vs Arsenal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed Arsenal's FA Cup fourth round defeat against Southampton
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed Arsenal’s FA Cup fourth round defeat against Southampton (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta is unsure whether captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be available for selection against Southampton this evening.

The Arsenal skipper missed Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round defeat against the same opponents due to a ‘personal matter’.

In his absence, the Gunners’ defence of the trophy they won last season, thanks mainly to his four goals across the two landmark victories against Chelsea and Manchester City, ended at St Mary’s in abject fashion.

Eddie Nketiah started in place of Aubameyang but was easily snuffed out by Southampton’s defence, while Alexandre Lacazette was unable to make any significant impact after he came on as a late substitute.

Aubameyang, meanwhile, was not spotted in the pictures published by Arsenal’s official website from Monday’s training session and Arteta was reluctant to confirm whether or not his main striker, who returned to form in the recent win over Newcastle, would be available for selection.

Eddie Nketiah started in place of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Southampton
Eddie Nketiah started in place of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against Southampton (Picture: Getty)

He said: ‘Of course it will be a problem because he is a top striker, one who scores [a lot of] goals and he is our captain, a really important player in the team.

‘But we have to respect the timings, let’s see – I don’t have enough information to see how things are evolving and hopefully things will go in the right direction.’

Gabriel Martinelli could again be in-line to cover for Aubameyang with the Brazilian having returned to full-fitness following a setback in his recovery from a long-term knee injury.

Having put in an outstanding display on his first Premier League start in nearly nine months in the Boxing Day win over Chelsea, Martinelli’s progress was stunted by the injury he suffered in the warm-up ahead of the FA Cup victory over Newcastle earlier this month.

On the teenage forward’s progress, Arteta added: ‘He has missed a few training sessions with the last injury, but I expect big things from Gabi. He has been really helpful since he joined again after such a long period, so I am positive about it.’

MORE : Mikel Arteta and Edu speak out after Mesut Ozil completes move from Arsenal to Fenerbahce

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