Arsenal dealt a big blow ahead of Europa league final

Armenia midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss the Europa League final because his safety cannot be guaranteed.

Arsenal made the decision to not take their Armenian playmaker because of security concerns in Baku.

The Gunners face Chelsea in Azerbaijan on May 29 – but the country’s political row with Armenia means it is impossible for Mkhitayan to visit the country.

Mkhitaryan has played in ten Europa League matches for the Gunners this season, and has been instrumental in helping them reach the final.

Boss Unai Emery used him in all the knockout matches – so the loss of a player who has been such a regular in the competition will be a huge blow.An Arsenal statement said: “We are very disappointed to announce that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be travelling with the squad for our Uefa Europa League final against Chelsea

“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.”

Host nation Azerbaijan have been at loggerhead’s with the midfielder’s country Armenia for three decades which resulted in the Nagorno-Karabakh war.


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