Should Arsenal push Aubameyang, Tierney and Lacazette back to Villarreal?
Sam PrestonApril 28, 2021
Photo by Tim Keaton/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Mikel Arteta has good news for Arsenal supporters ahead of Gunners’ Europa League clash with Villarreal, he tells Club official website Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kieran Tierney and Alexandre Lacazette are all available.
“They’re all competing – all (squads),” Arteta said. “Including Aubameyang, Laka and Kieran. They’re all in contention.
“We do need them (Aubameyang, Tierney and Lacazette). They are the guys who can make a difference in a big tie like this.
“But the word ‘risk’, I don’t like putting players on the pitch, if they can’t perform, they can’t feel safe that they can perform.
“If it’s a risk, or we’re going to take a gamble, then I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.”
Arteta then focused on the left-back he sorely misses. At one point Arsenal fans feared the Scot would miss the rest of the season.
“(Tierney) didn’t need the surgery we were afraid of at first, and then he worked like a beast every day,” Arteta said.
“I don’t know if he will make it tomorrow, but of course he wants to be as close as possible.”
There’s a lot to think about before key games, so let’s take a look at the risk factors Arteta mentioned and whether he should gamble at Ramon Sanchez’s Piz Juan Stadium tomorrow night…
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Positive – let’s put the tie on the bed
Without a doubt, the game was Arsenal’s biggest game of the season so far.
Bringing back three of their biggest players could help the Gunners equalise on 90 minutes.
A performance that matched his performance at Slavia Prague in the previous round.
Having Tierney, Aubameyang and Lacazette on the squad would give a boost to the entire Arsenal squad and demoralise Unai Emery’s men even before the game.
It could help Arsenal out of the woods, finish the draw and clean up for the rest of the future.
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Negatives – Consider the Bigger Picture
Hopefully the trio can help Arsenal reach the final in Gdansk next month.
But if the return of Tierney, Aubameyang and Lacazette will hinder their recovery and threaten their availability in Poland, are they worth it?
We’ve seen it time and time again when players recover from injuries early and end up on the sidelines longer.
Arsenal have ripped Prague without Tierney and Aubameyang, and their squad is more than capable of getting the job done without them.
Arteta is well aware of the risk and does not want to play with any of the trio if it jeopardizes their season.
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Will they keep up?
This semifinal was a high-quality, high-stakes game. This is not where players build their game adaptability and acuity. A mistake can be the key difference.
Arsenal are now far less influential in the Premier League and their only chance of the Champions League next season is to win the Europa League. A gradual re-introduction of players could see a stronger-looking XI (hopefully) lineup in the final.
A trip to Newcastle United on Sunday (2pm) may be a better place for the trio to start their return journey.
After all, they may need a win over Sevilla on the return leg at the Emirates Stadium.
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Sam Preston is an NCTJ Gold Standard News and Sports Reporter who studied at the Press Association. He also holds a 2:1 Law and French Law degree from the University of Birmingham, which includes a year of study at the University of Montaigne in Bordeaux. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derby County programme in 2018 and has also written digital football content and games for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County day program.
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