Three Arsenal players missed three days of training before the clash with Manchester City last week, after a positive COVID-19 test.
The Athletic report that one Arsenal player had a positive test for coronavirus in the week directly before the game against Manchester City. The player had spent a lot of time with two other teammates, who would also therefore need to quarantine.
With no symptoms, no positive tests up to that point and no concerning movements from the player, Arsenal suspected it was a false positive, but they abided by the rules nonetheless. The player and both teammates missed three days of training.
After testing negative through private antigen tests and antibody tests, and then testing negative in the next round of official PL testing, all three were clear to play again. Without those negative results, they may have missed up to two weeks.
To emphasise the point, all three tested negative in the end and none of them missed the game. I know Arsenal fans love to put pieces together that don’t fit, so it’s worth mentioning this means it wasn’t Özil. These tests had nothing to do with him missing the game.
Obviously it was far from ideal preparation for the match, though. These were evidently all important players for Arteta’s plan for the match, and they missed three of the last four days of training.
In the end, the injuries and David Luiz mistakes meant it probably didn’t matter. Arsenal were always going to lose this game. But it’s a warning sign about how quickly a team’s season could be derailed by the virus.