Chelsea vs Arsenal: Gunners confirm Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss Europa League final in Baku

The Gunners midfielder has missed the last two trips to the country when his teams have played European matches there  

Jack Rathborn
Tuesday 21 May 2019 12:46
Why Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan may not be allowed to play at the Europa League final

Arsenal have confirmed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss the Europa League final vs Chelsea due to diplomatic tensions between his native Armenia and Azerbaijan, who host the game in Baku.

The player has missed the last two trips to the country when his teams have been drawn to play there in European matches.

And despite Azerbaijan's insistance over the player's safety, the club feel there was not enough guarantees to take the risk, delivering a big blow to Unai Emery and his side's hopes of lifting the cup and securing Champions League football.

A statement from Arsenal said: “We are very disappointed to announce that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be travelling with the squad for our Uefa Europa League final against Chelsea.

“We have thoroughly explored all the options for Micki to be part of the squad but after discussing this with Micki and his family we have collectively agreed he will not be in our travelling party.

“We have written to UEFA expressing our deep concerns about this situation. Micki has been a key player in our run to the final so this is a big loss for us from a team perspective.

“We’re also very sad that a player will miss out on a major European final in circumstances such as this, as it is something that comes along very rarely in a footballer’s career.

Mkhitaryan will be unavailable for Arsenal vs Chelsea (Getty)

“Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend.”

The player has also commented on the situation, revealing his sadness at his unavailability.

"Having considered all the current options, we had to take the tough decision for me not to travel with the squad to the Europa League Final against Chelsea," said Mkhitaryan.

"It‘s the kind of game that doesn’t come along very often for us players and I must admit, it hurts me a lot to miss it.I will be cheering my teammates on! Let’s bring it home Arsenal."

Uefa are now under huge pressure following Arsenal's decision, despite Azerbaijan insisting the player would be given a visa and the ambassador to the UK offering guarantees over safety.

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