Pablo Mari tests positive for Covid as Mikel Arteta sheds light on Arsenal outbreak

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  • Arsenal
    Arsenal
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  • Pablo Marí
    Pablo Marí
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  • Mikel Arteta
    Mikel Arteta
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  • Albert Sambi Lokonga
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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal defender Pablo Mari has tested positive for Covid-19, with the club also forced to shut their training ground last Thursday so it could undergo a precautionary deep clean.

The Gunners confirmed before Saturday’s win over Leeds that midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga had tested positive, and Mikel Arteta confirmed after the match that Mari has, too.

Premier League clubs have been battling with Covid-19 outbreaks and only four matches are due to take place this weekend, with Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Leeds the only one of six scheduled fixtures to take place on Saturday.

Arsenal have kept cases low, with the outbreak at the club largely constrained to backroom staff until this week.

And asked why London Colney was shut on Thursday, Arteta said: “Pure precaution because we had some cases in the staff and we wanted to prevent any issues.

“Everybody we have seen around us, when they have a few cases the cases have risen.

“We wanted to protect our people and Gary [O’Driscoll] and the medical staff made the right call, to try to close it for a day, stay away from the place, make sure that all the tests from everybody were negative and make sure that when we were back, everybody was safe.

“We had another player, as well Pablo has Covid, so unfortunately they [Mari and Lokonga] will be out.”

Arsenal have had further issues with Covid-19, with the women’s team’s game against Brighton this weekend postponed.

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