Arsenal coach reveals reason behind midfielder’s absence from squad

Unai Emery has revealed that Aaron Ramsey will miss Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Qarabag in order to be with his pregnant wife. Ramsey started against Watford at the weekend but was replaced by Alex Iwobi in the 63rd minute before Craig Cathcart’s own-goal and a strike from Mesut Ozil sealed a 2-0 win for Arsenal.

The Wales midfielder was expected to feature against Qarabag on Thursday night but asked Emery for permission to remain in London while his team-mates headed for Azerbaijan.

Ramsey’s wife, Colleen Rowlands, is due to give birth to twins imminently. Asked for Arsenal’s team news ahead of the tie, Emery replied: ‘Aaron asked me if he could stay in London because he wife is pregnant and they are waiting.’

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Emery also confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will miss the match after the striker came down with an illness. ‘I explained [why Henrikh] Mkhitaryan can’t play tomorrow. Aubameyang was sick, he can’t play.’ Emery said. ‘As for the goalkeeper, Bernd Leno will most likely play tomorrow.’

Mkhitaryan opted to remain in England due to the tensions that exist between Azerbaijan and his native Armenia. ‘My work is football.

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I respect each person, each culture, each country, but I don’t know each situation in every country,’ the Spaniard explained. ‘For me, he can’t play tomorrow and I have respect for Mkhi and for you. Today we are here with the players to play.’

Arsenal are on a seven match winning streak and won their first Europa league match of the season 4-2 at the Emirates.


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