Mikel Arteta provides fitness update on Aubameyang ahead of Newcastle trip

Mikel Arteta provides fitness update on Aubameyang ahead of Newcastle trip

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang isn't fully fit amid featuring in the finals minutes for the Gunners against Villarreal on Thursday. 

Aubameyang made his return from sickness on Thursday as he came in for Bukayo Saka in the 85th minute against Villarreal. The Gabon international has been on the sidelines recovering from malaria he contracted while on international duty. 

Speaking ahead of the Newcastle trip Arteta said, "He hasn’t trained much, he is still not at the level in his physique that he should be to start. We will see again tomorrow how he is."

"Yesterday he could only play a few minutes but we managed to get him on the pitch, which is great news for us."

Arteta on facing Newcastle 

"From the position they’re in, they’re going to come at us, they’re a really organized team, they’ve been playing much better recently so it will be tough. The amount of games that we are playing, every team has the capacity to make it difficult for you."

On Pepe's performance 

"I think he's come a long way in the last few months. His work ethic has been phenomenal and he's deciding many more games and doing what he can do in the final third in a much more consistent way. So I'm really happy with his performances and now he needs to continue like this."

On Villarreal defeat 

"Obviously it’s not the result that we wanted, we managed to score an away goal which is important but at the end of the day, in a semi-final, you need to win at least one of the games. So that is in our hands, to do it in our stadium, and if we do that we have a big chance to get to the final."

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