May 13, 2019 - 10:23 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Arsenal boss Unai Emery has made it clear he wants Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan to play in the Europa League final, Express says.
The Europa League final is being held in Baku, Azerbaijan this year and the problem Arsenal face is that Mkhitaryan, who is Armenian, might be caught up in political tensions if he travels to the game.
That is because there is currently a dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno Karabakh.
Arsenal are seeking guarantees from UEFA that Mkhitaryan can play, and Gunners boss has made it clear he wants the 30-year-old in his squad.
“We want to play with Mkhitaryan,” Emery said.
The Spaniard is aware of the possible problems but was impressed with the midfielder’s performance in Arsenal 3-1 season finale victory over Burnley on Sunday, May 12 and wants him to make the journey at the end of May.
“It is a political issue but I don't know well what the solution is,” Emery said.
“Today he worked very well and we are ready to do all we can do to play with him.
“I don't know the possibility with the political issue.”
Emery admitted he isn’t sure about what the problem is between Armenia and Azerbaijan but revealed Arsenal will be doing all they can to get Mkhitaryan to the final in Baku.
“Really, I don't know what the problem is between the two countries but we are going to do all we can to have Mkhitaryan there,” Emery said.
“This issue is not sporting. It is not in my hands.
“I don’t understand what the solution is.”
As for the final being held in Baku, Emery admitted he would have preferred it if it had been located closer to home rather than 2,500 miles away.