Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has returned to London and is undergoing tests after he was sent home from the African Cup of Nations due to health issues.
The “cardiac lesions” were found in a check by Confederation of African Football (CAF) medical officials, who had examined Aubameyang to ensure he was good to play for Gabon after returning following a positive Covid-19 test.
While CAF announced Aubameyang and teammate Mario Lemina had this issue, Gabon coach Patrice Neveu said neither player had serious heart problems but rather they were suffering from some after effects of Covid.
“We haven’t had any clarity from the Gabon national team about the reasons why he came back,” said Arteta, speaking ahead of Arsenal's League Cup semi-final second leg at home to Liverpool on Thursday.
“It’s our obligation to make sure, medically, the player is safe, in a good condition and there are not any issues related to that. Because historically everything we have done with the player, he has never had that issue.”
Arteta, meanwhile, has defended Arsenal’s decision to successfully apply for Sunday’s Premier League match with Tottenham to be postponed — a decision met with anger by their north London rivals.
The Spaniard revealed the Gunners still have “issues” but is hopeful they will be able to host Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium. The first leg on Merseyside finished goalless.
“We will defend our club with teeth and nails,” said Arteta. “We're not going to get anybody damaging our name or trying to lie about things that haven't occurred.
“We will make mistakes, we will put our hands up but we will defend our club in a really strong way.
“We didn't have the players necessary to put out a squad available to compete in a Premier League match, that is 100 per cent guaranteed.”