Arsenal fans up and down the country will be crossing their fingers that club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be fit to return in some capacity for when they take on Villarreal in next week’s huge Europa League semi-final first leg.
The Gunners’ talisman has endured the worst form of his Arsenal career this season, notching just nine goals in the Premier League so far.
However, his presence is still vital to an Arsenal side that have looked incredibly out-of-sorts in recent weeks, taking just one point from consecutive home games against Fulham and Everton.
Aubameyang’s absence was felt during Friday night’s dismal showing in the 1-0 home defeat to Everton, with Eddie Nketiah leading the line for Mikel Arteta’s side, given Alexandre Lacazette also faces a spell on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury.
The Emirates faithful will be pleased to see Aubameyang’s recent social media post, though, which suggests the Gabon international is doing everything he can to be fit in time for a European clash that could shape Arsenal’s season.
Posting on his Instagram story, Aubameyang is clearly pictured in a gym with a clenched fist and the caption “Working hard tho [sic]” after a number of pictures on a day out with his family.
The striker was diagnosed with Malaria, which he is thought to have contracted while away on international duty for Gabon.
Arsenal travel to Spain to take on a familiar face, opponents Villarreal managed by Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery. Emery was sacked just 18 months into his time at the helm of the north London outfit, with many fans supporting the decision to oust the former Paris Saint-Germain boss at the time.
Do you want all the latest news from around Arsenal Football Club straight to your email inbox?
Of course you do.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a twice-daily email, focused on all the latest news from the Emirates Stadium.
And, not only that, but you will get exclusive content from our club writers Chris Wheatley and Kaya Kaynak before anyone else.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
Alternatively, you can click here and tick the Arsenal box to subscribe for our Gunners newsletter.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
However, Arteta’s reign hasn’t yet been the push-on many fans would have hoped for when he replaced Emery, with the current Gunners boss boasting a just one-point improvement in his first 26 Premier League games in charge from Emery’s last 26.
Aubameyang also fared better under Emery than he has under Arteta, with Arsenal’s skipper winning the Premier League golden boot in Emery’s only full season in charge.