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Highlights on Off The Ball


Aubameyang leaves AFCON for Arsenal due to heart issues

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has returned to Arsenal having failed to kick a ball in anger at the Af...

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has returned to Arsenal having failed to kick a ball in anger at the Africa Cup of Nations. 

The Gabon striker tested positive for COVID-19 prior to their Group C game with Comoros, and had looked set to return in Friday's draw with Ghana.

However, Aubameyang was diagnosed with heart lesions. Two of his Gabon teammates - Mario Lemina and Axel Meyé were confirmed to have the same condition.

It's understood that Arsenal are satisfied that the issue is not serious.

The Fédération Gabonaise de Football confirmed on Monday that both Aubameyang and Lemina had departed their AFCON squad, and were returning to their respective clubs.


“The Gabonese Football Federation has decided to put the players Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Mario Lemina at the disposal of their clubs to continue the in-depth examinations," a statement read.

It continues a bad few months for Aubameyang, who was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy in December. He hasn't played since a 5-minute cameo in a 2-1 defeat to Everton on December 6.

Meanwhile, despite having successfully applied to have Sunday's North London derby postponed due to a lack of players, Arsenal are sending another out on loan.

An agreement's been reached to send defender Pablo Mari to Udinese on loan until the end of the season.

Folarin Balogun has already gone to Middlesbrough, while Ainsley-Maitland Niles has paved the way to Serie A for Mari with a loan move to Roma.

World Cup or Goodison shambles? Is Martinez going back to Everton?

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Afcon Africa Cup Of Nations Arsenal Gabon Mario Lemina Pablo Mari Pierre Emerick Aubameyang