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Arsenal hit by COVID-19 as Arteta confirms two positive cases

Mikel Arteta
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The Gunners are the latest Premier League club to suffer from the COVID-19 outbreak in England.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and defender Pablo Mari have both tested positive for coronavirus.

The Spaniard confirmed Lokonga’s positive result before Saturday’s 4-1 win at Leeds United, adding that the Gunners had to close their training ground on Thursday after a ‘few cases’ emerged following the 2-0 midweek victory over West Ham.

He later added to reporters in his post-match conference that Mari is also sidelined with COVID-19.

“We had another player, as well Pablo has COVID-19, so unfortunately they [Mari and Lokonga] will be out,” said Arteta.

Meeting set for Monday between English clubs

Arsenal’s visit to Leeds was the only Premier League match on Saturday after the other five clashes scheduled on the day were postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in England.

Out of the four fixtures on Sunday, Everton and Leicester City’s meeting is only one postponed so far.

All 20 Premier League clubs will meet on Monday to discuss the pandemic and how they will move forward.

“They have to come forward and explain what we are to expect from them,” added Arteta.

“If everyone is healthy and authorities think we have to carry on, we will. We follow the guidance. If they say play as you can, we will play as we can. We want to all play under [the] same rules and all under the same way.

“Whatever they decide is better for the fairness of the competition.” 

Arteta also announced that Japanese defender Takehiro Tomiyasu came off with a muscle problem at Elland Road.

Arsenal return to action on Tuesday to take on Sunderland for a quarter-final clash in the EFL Cup.