Whilst Arsenal fans may have been relishing today due to the fact that the Premier League fixtures for next season were released, they’ll be frustrated after they find out what it means for some key stars…
Arsenal look set to be without captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, in-form attacker Nicolas Pepe, big-money signing Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny due to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
KickOff report that the competition, which will be held in Cameroon, will start on January 9 and end on February 6.
The Gunners are scheduled to face North London rivals Spurs on January 15, meaning that they’ll miss the key quarter for what is one of their biggest games of the season.
Any players involved in the rescheduled AFCON 2021 will also miss the top-flight tie against Burnley a week later and stars could even be questionable for other crucial fixtures.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Thomas Partey, Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny are all set to be missing for #AFC in the North London Derby on January 15th as they could be away on international duty at AFCON.
The competition also coincides with a game against Burnley at home. pic.twitter.com/sJeAQst7jv
— Kaya Kaynak (@kayakaynak97) June 16, 2021
The Gunners face Manchester City on New Year’s Day, Mikel Arteta should be fine to call on his African players for this fixture but maybe the club would consider resting them ahead of the tournament.
Arsenal would also be without these players should they make it to the Carabao Cup semi-finals, their opening Third Round of the FA Cup and the Fourth if they progress.
The North London outfit also travel to the West Midlands to face Wolves on February 8, just two days after the tournament ends so anyone that features in the latter stages of AFCON may be a doubt.
Mikel Arteta certainly has his work cut out for him in what already looked like a key run of fixtures, now the Gunners will have to do without some of their best players, cutting their chances of victory.