Mikel Arteta will miss Arsenal’s New Year’s Day clash with Manchester City after testing positive for Covid, nearly two years on from first contracting the virus.
The Spaniard previously tested positive in March 2020, shortly before English football was shutdown as the country tried to get a grip of the pandemic.
And Arsenal have confirmed that the manager will not be on the touchline for their game with the Premier League leaders at the Emirates Stadium having tested positive again.
This is really disappointing,’ said Arteta, 37, via BBC Sport. ‘I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work as soon as I’m allowed.’
Arsenal have now closed the club’s London Colney training ground and club staff who had recent contact with the Spaniard will now self isolate.
The Gunners were due to play Wolves on Tuesday but the game was postponed after the Molineux outfit were unable to field a side owing to Covid cases and injuries to Bruno Lage’s squad.
An ’emergency meeting’ is set to be held on Friday among Premier League chiefs as football continues to battle with a surge of Covid outbreaks across the country.
Omicron, the ultra-infectious new Covid variant, has wreaked havoc across the football calendar in recent weeks, with infections rising at alarming rates. As a result, there are teams who find themselves with as many as three games in hand.
Boxing Day’s blockbuster line-up of matches was almost decimated by the virus, after three were called off – namely Liverpool’s clash with Leeds, Wolves’ showdown with Watford and Everton’s trip to Burnley.