Arsenal have cancelled their pre-season tour of the USA due to a small number of positive COVID-19 cases at the club, both in the first team and the youth setups.
The news comes as a major blow to Mikel Arteta’s plans and disrupts what was scheduled to be a two-game break in the state of Florida, as well as being just three weeks before the start of the new Premier League season.
Arsenal kick off the 2021/22 campaign with a trip to newly-promoted Brentford on Friday, August 13.
Arteta’s side were due to fly out to take part in the Florida Cup on Wednesday, having returned from the first leg of their summer plans in Scotland. A clash with Hibernian ended in a 2-1 loss before new signing Nuno Tavares starred in their second fixture as they drew 2-2 with Rangers at Ibrox.
Arsenal cancel USA pre-season tour after COVID-19 outbreak with Mikel Arteta’s pre-season plans massively disrupted
There was some concerns that the Florida Cup wouldn’t go ahead anyway with speculation emerging from Italy that Inter were to pull out of the tournament, due to fears over the number of Delta variant cases in Florida.
Those claims were short-lived and the Serie A champions agreed to fly out, where they were set to face Arsenal on Sunday, July 25 and then the Gunners would meet one of Everton or Millonarios on July 28.
However, as confirmed by The Athletic, they will not travel to America. It’s also a huge blow to the supporters across the USA who had been desperate to see Arsenal in action. However, of course, this is the only decision to take.
New plans will have to be made once the state of the cases are discovered, and in whatever outcome this will cause huge disruption to Arteta’s plans. It isn’t known how many of the team will have to self-isolate, but fears will be that a large contingent of the squad will be forced to quarantine or stay at home for a number of days. Albert Sambi Lokonga will have to wait for his debut.
For the time being, hopefully all of the players and staff are well and make full recoveries.