Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is left out of Gabon’s matchday squad for their AFCON clash with Ghana… even though the Arsenal striker is fully available after recovering from Covid
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was missing from Gabon’s squad on Friday night
- The Panthers are due to take on Ghana in their second Africa Cup of Nations tie
- But Aubameyang was not named in the team despite recovering from Covid
- The Arsenal striker missed Gabon’s win over Comoros but was training this week
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left out of Gabon’s matchday squad for their second Africa Cup of Nations group game with Ghana – despite being available after recovering from coronavirus.
The Arsenal forward, who was exiled by his club and stripped of his Gunners captaincy for disciplinary reasons before the tournament, missed his country’s win over Comoros on Monday after despite positive for Covid-19 last week.
Aubameyang returned to training with Gabon earlier this week and was expected to make his first appearance of the tournament on Friday night in the Ghana match, but the 32-year-old was left out of his nation’s matchday squad entirely.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left out of Gabon’s squad for their AFCON clash with Ghana
Aubameyang recently returned to Gabon training after testing positive for Covid this month
The striker is a key figure for Gabon having score 29 goals in 71 caps for his country, including three in six matches during 2021.
Aubameyang was expected to face his Gunners team-mate in Ghana’s Thomas Partey on Friday night, but now only the 28-year-old midfielder will line up in Cameroon for the contest.
Gabon picked Qatar-based striker Aaron Boupendza and Saint-Etienne forward Denis Bouanga as their attacking options for the Ghana match, with no sign of Aubameyang on the ten-man substitutes’ bench.
Gabon know that victory over Ghana will take them through to the knockout rounds of the tournament, while the Black Stars are looking to get off the mark for the tournament having lost their opening Group C encounter to Morocco this week.
But Aubameyang was nowhere to be seen in the Gabon squad ready to face Ghana on Friday
But the Panthers, who Aubameyang captains, must do without coach Patrice Neveu, who has tested positive for coronavirus in the build-up to Friday’s game. Defender Lloyd Palun and striker Kevin Mayi are also out after returning positive tests, the Gabon federation said.
The exact source of the outbreak within the Gabon camp remains unclear but social media footage emerged of players socialising at their pre-tournament camp in Dubai before the Arsenal striker tested positive.
Aubameyang was filmed out partying with Gabon team-mate Mario Lemina, formerly of Fulham and Southampton and now at Ligue 1 club Nice.
Aubameyang was filmed partying in Dubai with Gabon team-mate Mario Lemina last week
Aubameyang said he was feeling fine after a week of isolation in his room and posted two pictures of him in training to his Instagram account.
‘I got the opportunity to still be able to work in my room. I got a bike and made a circuit, trying to keep in shape as much as possible,’ he told his country’s federation Facebook page.
‘It’s not going to be easy, because it’s not the same as match rhythm or proper training but we’ll get it done.
‘We’re going to play a very difficult opponent who needs to win the game, so we’ll have to be serious like we were in the first game. I know we’ll have our chances.’