Thursday Feb 15, 2018. 18:00
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has slammed the "nonsensical" UEFA ruling which will prevent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from playing in their Europa League campaign.
The Gunners are in Sweden ahead of the first leg of their last 32 tie against Osterunds FK and are without two of their lead strikers: Alexandre Lacazette is injured and Aubameyang ineligible.
The Gabonese striker is cup-tied due to Borussia Dortmund’s involvement in the competition, despite having only represented the German club in the Champions League this season prior to his move to Arsenal.
According to UEFA rules players become ineligible if they have appeared in the same competition for another club or they have played for another club that is currently in the same competition.
Dortmund ‘dropped’ into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group.
"Unanimously, I believe that all the clubs agree now this rule has to disappear in Europe," Wenger said in his pre-match press conference.
"Especially because, for example, he played Dortmund, Dortmund has been reversed in the Europa League and he cannot play.
"When you look at the transfer amounts you spend now, that you have to spend £50, 60, 70m in the middle of the season, that the players cannot play doesn't make sense.
"Unanimously everywhere in Europe now the clubs are against this rule."