Arsenal reveal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Alex Runarsson tested positive for Covid before missing Brentford curtain-raiser… with captain and winger available to face Chelsea
- Arsenal strikers Aubameyang and Lacazette have tested positive for Covid
- Winger Willian and reserve goalkeeper Alex Runarsson also tested positive
- Premier League opener against Brentford was in doubt after positive tests
- Entire travelling Arsenal party were forced to take emergency Covid tests
Arsenal have confirmed strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have tested positive for Covid-19.
The pair missed last Friday’s season curtain-raiser at Brentford – a game they lost 2-0 – under mysterious circumstances as the club failed to disclose the reasons behind their absence.
Sportsmail revealed on Tuesday that the game was just hours away from being called off after the entire travelling Arsenal party were forced to take emergency Covid tests on the day of the game.
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) and Alexandre Lacazette (left) tested positive for Covid-19
Brazilian winger Willian (left) and Alex Runarsson (right) also contracted the virus
And we can now verify that the unscheduled round of testing was due to the positive tests of four Gunners players – Aubameyang, Lacazette, Willian and Alex Runarsson – in the lead up to the game.
Sportsmail understands that staff were asked to take additional tests on Saturday, a scheduled day off.
Captain Aubameyang, whose wife Alysha posted pictures on social media of a family birthday party just days before the striker’s positive test, has now recorded a negative result and will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s home game against Chelsea.
Arsenal’s Premier League opener was hours away from being called off after positive tests
Such parties are permitted under the Government’s new relaxed Covid guidelines.
Lacazette and Runarsson are still recovering and won’t be available for the visit of the European champions but Willian is being assessed ahead of the clash against his former club.
Premier League clubs are testing twice a week but there was enough concern over Arsenal’s visit to newly promoted Brentford that Gunners players, the coaching team and other associated staff were told to take tests on the day of the game.
Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat at Premier League new-boys Brentford last Friday