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'We want to win it for Mkhitaryan' - Mustafi frustrated over Arsenal team-mate's Europa League final absence

5:30 PM GMT+8 23/05/2019
Henrikh Mkhitaryan Arsenal 2018-19
The winger will not feature against Chelsea due to concerns for his safety if he were to travel to Azerbaijan as an Armenian national

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi says it's a shame Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not play the Europa League final and that his team-mates want to win for the 30-year-old. 

Mkhitaryan will not travel to Azerbaijan to face Chelsea next Wednesday due to fears over his safety because of his Armenian nationality. 

The two countries have been at war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh mountains since 1988, although a ceasefire has been in place since 1994. 

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielney has said that the final should not be played in Baku after Mkhitaryan declared he would not travel. 

And fellow centre-back Mustafi feels for his team-mate and that he's not going to be able to play in the showpiece match. 

"It's a shame for him not to be there, especially as he has often played on the way to the final, but our team has that in mind: We also want to win for Micki," Mustafi told Kicker.

UEFA claims they gave Mkhitaryan assurances over his safety ahead of the final, insisting they had spoken to authorities in Azerbaijan. 

But the Gunners still confirmed the midfielder would not be in their traveling party. 

Mkhitaryan featured as a substitute in both legs of Arsenal's semi-final victory over Valencia, and had stated earlier this season that winning the Europa League with Arsenal was one of his ambitions at the club.

Concerns have also been raised at the lack of English fans set to travel to Baku.

It is estimated only 6,000 supporters will make their way to the final from London, meaning they will make up less than 10 per cent of the crowd.

Chelsea winger Pedro has been among those to raise concerns at the location due to the difficulties faced by fans. 

And fan accessibility has become a talking point in the Champions League final, with followers of Liverpool and Tottenham facing astronomical fees in order to get to Madrid.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp hit out at the expense forced on supporters and the policy of some hotels to put their prices up for the event.