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Granit Xhaka tests positive for COVID-19

The midfielder will miss Switzerland’s friendly against Greece. His status for World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Northern Ireland is unknown.

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Granit Xhaka has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Switzerland’s friendly this evening against Greece. The midfielder’s status for the Swiss’ upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Italy (Sept. 5th) and Northern Ireland (Sept. 8th) is unknown. Xhaka will miss Arsenal’s first three matches after the international break due to his red card against Manchester City.

For comparison, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was back in training less than a week after testing positive before the Brentford match and came on as a substitute against Chelsea just over a week later.

Xhaka is the sixth Arsenal player to test positive for COVID-19 this season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Alex Runarasson, and the now-released Willian all tested positive earlier this season and have since recovered. Ben White missed both the Chelsea and Manchester City matches because of his positive test. There has not been a team news update from the club since City.

Mikel Arteta had COVID in March 2020. Kieran Tierney had to isolate because of a close contact in October 2020. Lucas Torreira tested positive in November 2020.

It is not known whether Xhaka or any of the other Arsenal COVID-positives are vaccinated. We will not speculate about vaccination status, and we ask that you do not in the comments as well. What we do know is that all of the vaccines are incredibly effective against preventing serious cases of COVID-19, hospitalization, and death. Please get vaccinated if it is available to you.

Xhaka’s positive test is also a good reminder to continue to follow your local social distancing and masking protocols. COVID-19 is contagious and still a part of our lives. Even with the precautions Arsenal and the Premier League are taking, the club has still had an outbreak, but I would wager that the rules have helped to minimize its severity.

We hope that Xhaka recovers quickly and without incident and that his positive test is the last at the club.