Because of UEFA rules, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cannot play for Arsenal in the Europa League this season, despite the fact he hasn’t appeared in the competition thus far.
However, because his former club Borussia Dortmund were catapulted into the tournament having finished third in their Champions League group, the 28 year is prohibited from playing for his new club.
It’s a silly rule, really, and one that Arsene Wenger insists all clubs want to see changed, not least because of the price of players in the transfer market these days.
Speaking ahead of the Gunners game against Ostersunds FK tomorrow night, the Arsenal manager said, “Unanimously, I believe that all the clubs agree now this rule has to disappear in Europe.
“Especially because for example he played Dortmund, Dortmund has been reversed in the Europa League and he cannot play.
“When you look at the transfer amounts you spend now, that you have to spend £50m, £60m, £70m in the middle of the season, that the players cannot play doesn’t make sense.
“Unanimously everywhere in Europe now the clubs are against this rule.”
It’s a rule that Arsenal were obviously aware of before they signed him, but it’s one which now has a more acute effect given the injury absence of Alexandre Lacazette who will miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery.
Danny Welbeck is set to start up front tomorrow night, with only Eddie Nketiah as striking back-up on the bench.