Arsenal’s captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was recovery from a malaria infection when his club was battling to qualify for the semi-final stage of this season’s Europa League campaign.
The 31-year-old Gabonese striker took to Instagram before the return leg of the Europa League quarter-final tie between Arsenal and Slavia Prague on Thursday night to announce that he has been battling with a malaria infection.
In the Instagram post, the Gabon international pose on a hospital bed while undergoing Intravenous therapy.
In the caption, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang revealed that he contracted Malaria while he was with the Gabonese national team in March 2021. He also revealed that he felt sick after returning from the international break and had to spend some days in the hospital.
The 31-year-old striker noted that the virus has been treated and that he was “already feeling much better”. “I wasn’t really feeling myself the last couple of weeks but will be back stronger than ever soon”, he wrote.
When Aubameyang returned from the March international break, Arsenal’s coach, Mikel Arteta, decided to start him from the bench in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final game against Slavia on April 8. The captain gave a good account of himself by assisting Nicholas Pepe to score Arsenal’s only goal in the game. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Afterward, Mikel Arteta did not feature him in Arsenal’s 0-3 win over Sheffield United on April 11. Though Arsenal won the game, most football fans were not happy that Aubameyang was not featured in the game.
Before the Gabonese footballer revealed why he has been absent from the team ahead of Arsenal’s game on Thursday, most pundits urged coach Mikel Arteta to start him in the return leg of the Europa League quarter-final game against Slavia Prague. The pundits believed that Aubameyang would be a huge factor that could win the game for Arsenal.
However, the absence of the club’s captain on Thursday night was not felt as Arsenal went on to beat the Czech Republican side 4-0 away from home. The big victory sent Arsenal to the semi-final stage of the Europa League 5-1 on aggregate.
After the game, Mikel Arteta confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been battling malaria infection but revealed that the striker was getting better.
“We just spoke with him. He’s at home, he’s fine,” Arteta said. “He had two days in the hospital to get the right treatment, but he’s feeling good now.
“We will see how he recovers. I think he will need a few days to recover from that, but he wants to be back as soon as possible. That’s what he said to me.”
Though Mikel Arteta did not reveal when the striker might likely return to action, it is suspected that Aubameyang might be ready for the Gunners before the club’s next game against Fulham on April 18. But he might be given more time to rest to gain more fitness.