Nicolas Pepe missed Arsenal’s match against Manchester City on Saturday with illness, but the club insist he’s not the latest Covid-19 case.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28: Nicolas Pepe ofArsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on February 28, 2021 in Leicester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND: Nicolas Pepe ofArsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on February 28, 2021. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

Ahead of Arsenal’s match against Manchester City, the club announced that Nicolas Pepe was unwell and would miss the game. With all the recent Covid-19 cases in the squad, many believed Pepe was the latest to contract the virus.

But according to Charles Watts and Simon Collings, Arsenal are insisting that Pepe’s illness is not Covid related. It’s simply another unfortunate setback for yet another Arsenal player in these early weeks of the Premier League season.

Arsenal lost Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, and Willian to Covid-19 for the opening week of the season, and Ben White joined the list the following weekend.

That’s on top of injuries and knocks to Gabriel Magalhaes, Thomas Partey, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli, Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin, and Bukayo Saka, and a visa issue for Martin Odegaard. Hardly an ideal set of circumstances.

Players are slowly starting to return, one by one, and the international break should certainly help. With any luck, Pepe will be over his illness by the time Arsenal return on September 11th against Norwich City.