Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has tested positive to COVID-19 upon landing in Cameroon, bringing his ability to represent Gabon at the upcoming African Cup of Nations in doubt. Former Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina and Gabon assistant coach Yala Anicet have also tested positive, head coach Patrice Neveu has revealed. Apparently, it was a lateral flow test, and they’re now waiting for the results of the PCR one to confirm. All three are currently isolating in the team hotel.
The 32-year-old recently lost the captain’s armband at Arsenal, along with his place in the team, and it remains to be seen if he wears he club shirt ever again. He was still supposed to captain his country at the tournament in Cameroon, but now it seems there’s a possibility he won’t be involved at all.
As relayed by a number of outlets, Aubameyang was seen partying with some of his international teammates in Dubai before catching his flight to Cameroon.
Having returned late from a trip abroad last month, the forward was told not to report for training at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground, and manager Mikel Arteta eventually decided to exclude him from the team for the time being. That being the case, Aubameyang left London to meet up with his Gabon teammates before the 1-2 home defeat to Manchester City last Saturday.
Gabon will face the Comoros on Monday, with clashes against Thomas Partey’s Ghana and Morocco to come later.
Arsenal have reportedly started sounding out potential buyers for Aubameyang, with Newcastle, Barcelona and Juventus all credited with interest in the former captain.
Aubameyang’s road to redemption was always going to be a difficult one – the likes of Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil both know what it feels like, but partying ahead of a major tournament and contracting COVID-19 was certainly the wrong way to go about it.