Arsene Wenger has provided an injury update for Henrikh Mikhitaryan, and noted that the player could well feature again before the end of the season.
After the Arsenal boss confirmed the former Manchester United player had knee ligament damage, it was thought his campaign may be over, but according to Wenger, while he will miss the game against CSKA Moscow and possibly the semi-finals of the Europa League as well, he could be back in time for the final should Arsenal get there come the end of the season.
He spoke with Standard Sport, and said: “Mkhitaryan has medial knee ligament damage.
“He will not be available for Thursday, Newcastle away, or West Ham the week after. He will miss these games but could still play at the end of the season.”
The Europa League is of course vital for the Gunners, given it’s their only chance of getting back into the Champions League next term, and two seasons in a row outside of the top domestic competition would certainly not please Arsenal fans.
It would also impact the money Arsenal bring in and thus the transfer budget Wenger – or even a new manager should he finally leave come the summer – have to play with. That’s before even considering the implications of trying to attract a player to the club when it’s so clear the Gunners are no longer a Champions League club and are looking at the foreseeable future in the Europa League.
Winning the Europa League would not only be a European trophy for Wenger to finally claim he’s won with the Gunners but it would be a good bit of silverware for the Gunners to have in their trophy cabinet as well.