Aubameyang & Odegaard will return to Arsenal coaching "whichever approach they get up," Arteta jokes
The Gunners boss gave an update on the duo's fitness before a showdown in the Europa League against Slavia Prague
Mikel Arteta has joked that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Martin Odegaard's return to Arsenal training will depend on "how they wake up".
Aubameyang missed Arsenal's 3-0 win against Sheffield United in the Premier League last weekend due to illness. It is not yet known if he will be back in time for the second leg of the Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague on Thursday.
Odegaard also put Sheffield United's win and the first leg against Slavia on hold as he continued to recover from an ankle injury, and Arteta released an update on both at his last pre-game press conference.
What was said
When asked if Aubameyang and Odegaard will attend training on Wednesday, the Arsenal boss told reporters, "Depending on how you wake up. If you wake up better, yes.
"Neither of them could train yesterday. Hopefully today is a sunnier day, so maybe it's better."
Aubameyang's record for Arsenal in 2020-21
Arsenal have relied on Aubameyang as their main goal source since arriving at Borussia Dortmund's Emirates Stadium in January 2020. The Gabonese frontman scored 84 goals in his first 142 games for the club.
However, only 14 of those efforts were made this season as Aubameyang's form reflected the Gunners' struggles. The North Londoners are currently ninth in the Premier League table.
How did Odegaard develop for the Gunners?
In stark contrast to Aubameyang, who has seen a lot of criticism of his performance for Arsenal recently, Odegaard has become a new fan hero after an impressive start to his loan break in North London.
The Norwegian has worked perfectly into Arteta's midfield since signing a six-month deal with Real Madrid's Gunners in January, which has featured in 22 games in all competitions.
It remains to be seen whether he will return to the Emirates Stadium before the 2021/22 season. Madrid will reportedly try to reintegrate him into the first-team squad.
Arsenal's Crunch Slavia Test
Arteta could certainly capitalize on Aubameyang and Odegaard's talents if his side travel to the Czech Republic, where Arsenal must score a goal to qualify for the Europa League semi-finals.
The Gunners will likely have to win the competition to continue playing on the continental stage next season as they hold a minor position in the Premier League. Slavia, however, has the advantage after dying 1-1 in the first leg of the final round at the Emirates Stadium – eight eight ties.