Arsenal are set to be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette again for the visit of Chelsea on Sunday.
Both forwards missed the Gunners’ dismal opening day defeat to Brentford last Friday through illness with 20-year-old Folarin Balogun drafted in for his first Premier League start in their absence.
Mikel Arteta is likely to be without the pair again this weekend, according to The Times, who report neither player is likely to recover in time to return to training and be fit for the visit of the European champions.
Aubameyang and Lacazette will be assessed again this week but their absences could leave Arsenal facing another uphill battle – with N’Golo Kante likely to be fit for Chelsea again with Romelu Lukaku also expected to make his debut.
The futures of both strikers have come under intense scrutiny in recent days with The Times reporting that the Gunners are ready to let their captain go before the end of the month.
Reports in Spain claim both are being considered by Barcelona who are themselves looking to bring in more firepower.
Their perilous financial position however means only swap deals will be explored, with former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho one of the players they are will to offer in exchange.
Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell meanwhile has questioned Aubameyang and Lacazette’s recent absence, suggesting something ‘isn’t right’ with the situation.
He told Sky Sports: ‘Right up until the [Brentford] game they [Aubameyang and Lacazette] were going to be in the starting line-up and then all of a sudden they are out. If they are ill let us know what the illness is.
‘I just feel like there is some infighting going on at some stage. Arsenal don’t need this because there is some serious work to be done [in on-field performances].’
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