OSTERSUND — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for the cup-tied rule to be scrapped, with record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang unable to play in the Europa League.
Arsenal face a shortage of strikers for Thursday’s round-of-32 match at Ostersund after Alexandre Lacazette was ruled out with a knee injury.
Aubameyang has played in Europe for Borussia Dortmund this season meaning he is not eligible for Arsenal, who signed him for £56 million in January.
Wenger said the cup-tied rule “doesn’t make sense” any more and claimed clubs across Europe felt the same.
“Unanimously, I believe that all the clubs agree now this rule has to disappear in Europe,” he said.
“When you look at the transfer amounts you spend now, that you have to spend £50m, £60m, £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.”
Wenger is set to play Danny Welbeck up front against Ostersund, while teenage academy product Eddie Nketiah could be his main attacking option off the bench.
Meanwhile, Arsenal will be without January signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the Carabao Cup final later this month after he played for Manchester United earlier in that competition.
Mattias is ESPN FC’s Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.