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Two senior players absent from Arsenal training ahead of Chelsea clash


Two senior Arsenal players, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, were absent from the club’s training session on Wednesday ahead of their Premier League derby with Chelsea on Sunday.

Aubameyang and Lacazette featured prominently for Arsenal throughout pre-season but were ruled out of the Gunners’ 2-0 defeat against Brentford last Friday due to illness.

Brentford defeated Arsenal at home in the absence of their most experienced forwards, with Premier League debutant Folarin Balogun struggling to make an impact during the encounter.

Asked to clarify why Aubameyang and Lacazette didn’t feature against Brentford, Arteta only gave a brief explanation, saying: “They feel unwell, that is all I can say

“It is [a big miss], but in the world that we are living in, I think the only permanent thing right now are changes.”

Meanwhile, Eddie Nketiah, was also missing from the session, meaning rookie Balogun is in line to feature again against Chelsea, who are likely to hand a debut to Romelu Lukaku following his £97million move from Inter Milan.

Reports had emerged of a growing ‘friction’ between Arteta and club captain Aubameyang, who struggled to rediscover his best form last season after he signed a lucrative long-term contract with the North London club

The Gabonese international has been linked with a move to Barcelona this week, while Lacazette, who has entered the final year of his contract with Arsenal, is a reported target for Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma.

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