The Armenian footballer is not making the trip to Azerbaijan because of safety concerns after both nations are involved in a political crisis.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are involved in a political crisis that has seen citizens from both countries banned to enter the other nation’s borders.

And this means that Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not travel to Baku because of security concerns.

This is why teammate Sokratis Papastathopoulos has vowed to lift the UEFA Europa League title for him.

“Of course it’s a big loss for us. We are very sad and now we have to win for him,” the defender admitted to Goal.

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“We have to go (there) and play our game.”

He added: “To believe we can do it and I think if we give 100 percent and have a good day, and also luck because in one game anything can happen (then) we can do it.”

“[Chelsea] have very good players and a good manager.”

“We respect (them) but after we plan to play our game. To play our game, to create our chances, to be focused, to defend well,” he said.

“To play all together and in the end to win the game – it’s difficult for us, but it’s also difficult for them.”


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