Arsenal’s pre-season tour in the USA has been cancelled after several Gunners players returned positive COVID-19 tests, according to The Athletic.
After a poor season last time around, during which Arsenal missed out on European qualification entirely, Mikel Arteta will have hoped that their preparations for the upcoming campaign would be seamless.
Arsenal, who played their first two games of pre-season in Scotland against Hibernian and Rangers respectively, were due to head to America and face Inter Milan, followed by the victor of Everton vs Millonarios.
However, those plans have now been cancelled, with The Athletic reporting that Arsenal have returned a small number of positive coronavirus cases ahead of flying to the U.S.
All players who have tested positive have not developed symptoms, reveals David Ornstein, but with self-isolation rules in force, and the fear of a further outbreak in the squad, pushing ahead with the trip appears to have become implausible.
? EXCL: Arsenal pre-season tour to USA cancelled because of #COVID19 cases in #AFC camp. Small number of positives in travelling party, all asymptomatic. Club working through alternate plans as virus wreaks more havoc ahead of new PL season @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/vUi7ElyuYZ
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 20, 2021
It is of course a considerable disruption for Arsenal ahead of next season, but more significantly, it could be a taste of what’s to come in the season which is on the horizon.
All COVID restrictions in the UK have now been dropped – for how long, we don’t know – but the possibility of players contracting the virus has now increased considerably.
While necessary precautions will be taken at the training ground and on matchday, players can essentially do whatever they please in their personal lives. That spells disruption and disaster…
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