Wenger: Aubameyang Ineligibility For Europa League Makes No Sense
Arsene Wenger has criticised the “nonsensical” UEFA ruling stopping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from playing for Arsenal in the Europa League.
Despite making a £55 million move from Borussia Dortmund in January, Aubameyang cannot feature for the Gunners in the Europa League because his old team have dropped down into the competition as a result of a third-place finish in their Champions League group.
“Unanimously, I believe that all the clubs agree now this rule has to disappear in Europe,” Wenger said in his pre-match press conference.
“Especially because, for example, he played Dortmund, Dortmund has been reversed in the Europa League and he cannot play.
“When you look at the transfer amounts you spend now, that you have to spend £50, 60, 70m in the middle of the season, that the players cannot play doesn’t make sense.
“Unanimously everywhere in Europe now the clubs are against this rule.”
Arsenal have taken a strong squad to Sweden for Thursday’s clash, with Wenger keen not to underestimate a team who progressed from a group containing Athletic Bilbao, Hertha Berlin and Zorya to reach the knockout stages
The Swedish side teased Arsenal on social media with a mocked-up igloo dressing room ahead of the game but an unfazed Wenger has defended his decision to carry out pre-match preparation at home.
“The temperature, at the moment I don’t find too much different from London,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a problem.”
Asked if he was tempted to ditch his policy of training for Europa League away games at their London Colney ground, Wenger said: “No, because it is really disturbing our organisation in the way we want to prepare. I think we can adapt.
“We have an artificial pitch indoors, even if it is a bit different, but no matter.”