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The Gabonese frontman sat out a 2-1 Premier League defeat to Everton with a muscle injury and remains stuck on the sidelines for now

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains unavailable to Arsenal, Mikel Arteta has confirmed, with the Gunners captain set to sit out a Carabao Cup quarter-final clash with Manchester City.

The Gabonese frontman missed a 2-1 Premier League defeat to Everton on Saturday with a muscle complaint.

Arteta claims that injury is not as problematic as it was, but his skipper is not yet ready to step back into the fold for an Arsenal team crying out for inspiration from somewhere.

“Auba is feeling much better and he was more positive yesterday [Sunday] than in the previous two days,” Arteta told reporters ahead of a meeting with City on Tuesday.

“He will have another scan in the next few days and we will see how quickly we can get him back in the team.

“But we know how important he is for us, he feels that responsibility and he is trying his best to be back fit as quickly as possible. For the rest, I don’t think we’re going to have any news today before training.”

While Aubameyang is stuck on the sidelines, Arsenal have been able to welcome Gabriel Martinelli back from a long-term knee injury.

He stepped off the bench at Goodison Park, but no unnecessary risks will be taken on a 19-year-old who has seen just 19 senior minutes since March.

Arteta added on the talented Brazilian forward: “We cannot put that pressure [of being the club’s ‘saviour] on his shoulders. It’s not fair for him.

“He brings that enthusiasm that the fans can see because he’s got something special, a special energy every time he steps on that field. But remember that Gabi, what he’s done in the Premier League, the time that he’s been with us is very limited. Let him develop, like we are doing with many other young kids that we have here.”

Martinelli could get more game time against City, as Arsenal look to find a spark in their faltering campaign, but Arteta insists Carabao Cupo glory will not mask the club’s faults in 2020-21.

The Spaniard said: “It’s not enough, isolating just one competition. We have to play every competition to try to win it.

“Last season, we managed to win two of those and we have a really nice opportunity because we’ve done really well in the competition this year. Tomorrow’s game is another step forward to be closer to winning another trophy and this is what we are going to try to do.

“But this doesn’t mean that it’s going to reflect on the rest or it’s going to look better because at the moment – whatever happens in any other competition – in the Premier League we’re nowhere near where we should be.”

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December 21, 2020
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