Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: where is the Gabon forward, will he play at AFCON and when is he back for Arsenal?

Premier League striker has not yet featured at the Africa Cup of Nations and speculation on his future is rampant with Juventus amongst the clubs linked.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not played for Arsenal since their 2-1 loss to Everton at Goodison Park on December 6, 2021.

The 32-year old has not been seen in action since being cited for disciplinary breaches by manager Mikel Arteta and subsequently stripped of the Arsenal captaincy.

Now, speculation is mounting as to the former Borussia Dortmund player’s future, with reports emerging linking him to a move away from the Emirates Stadium this month.

Here is everything we know about Aubameyang’s current situation as the January transfer window reaches the midway point.

Where is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 06, 2021 in Liverpool, EnglandArsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 06, 2021 in Liverpool, England
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 06, 2021 in Liverpool, England

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is currently away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Gabon.

The striker, who is captain of the national side, did not feature in their opening match of the tournament on Monday, January 10 after testing positive for Covid-19.

However, it is now confirmed that the forward has returned a negative test and is out of isolation meaning he is expected to play in Gabon’s next match which is against Ghana on Friday, January 14.

Aubameyang has won 71 caps for the Gabon international side and scored 29 goals.

Even without their talisman, Les Panthères were able to win their opening match of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations 1-0 against Comoros.

They will face a step up in competition in their next two fixtures though as they face Ghana and Morocco.

A win against the Black Stars would all but guarantee their qualification for the knock-out stage of the competition.

When Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang return to Arsenal?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will return to Arsenal once Gabon are eliminated from the African Cup of Nations.

Their final group stage game is on Tuesday, January 18 and he will be released from international duty after that match if Gabon do not qualify for the knock out stages.

The round of 16 is due to be played between January 23 and January 26, the quarter-finals are scheduled for January 29 and 30, the semi-finals are due to be played on January 2 and 3 and the final and third place play-off on February 3.

Gabon are not amongst the favourites to win the competition (priced at around 66/1 to lift the trophy) meaning they are expected to be eliminated sooner rather than later which would free up Aubameyang to return to his club earlier than some other players at the competition.

Will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave Arsenal in January?

The most recent reports have suggested that Serie A side Juventus are interested in signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Arsenal.

The Turin side have lost their star striker Federico Chiesa to injury and are thought to be in the market for reinforcements up front, with Manchester United’s Anthony Martial also linked.

It may be a fortuitous link for the Gunners, who have been rumoured to be showing interest of their own in two Juventus players this month - Arthur Melo and Dejan Kulusevski.

As Aubameyang’s Arsenal future is unclear, and the club may be looking to sell him this month anyway, their is the potential for player swap deals if both clubs are interested.

However, according to the bookies it is not Juventus who are favourites to sign the striker, but a team much closer to home who also play in black and white.

Newcastle United are priced at 7/2 with SkyBet to land the Gabon forward this month while Barcelona are 7/1 and Juventus are 8/1.

Also in the market are Ac Milan (20/1), Manchester City and Chelsea (both 25/1).

The bookies also have Arthur Melo at heavy odds on (1/4) to join Arsenal this month so that deal looks likely.

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