Arsenal have confirmed that striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and winger Willian could return to the team in time for Sunday’s meeting with Chelsea after being ruled out of the 2-0 loss to Brentford with COVID-19.
Aubameyang and strike partner Lacazette were both left out of the Brentford game because of a mystery illness, while Willian’s unspecified absence was taken as a sign that his time at the Emirates Stadium could be up.
However, in a recent medical update posted to their official website, Arsenal confirmed that the trio had actually tested positive for COVID-19, with Aubameyang and Willian both potentially able to return on Sunday.
Of the pair, it’s Aubameyang who has the best chance of returning against Chelsea. The Gabon international has tested negative and is scheduled to return to training in the coming days, although whether he will be ready to play is a different question entirely.
Lacazette continues to test positive and remains in isolation, so Arsenal have officially ruled him out for the game alongside backup goalkeeper Alex Runarsson, who has also tested positive.
The mini virus outbreak comes at a time in which Arsenal have a handful of injury problems to deal with as well.
In attack, young Eddie Nketiah continues to be sidelined by the ankle injury he picked up during this summer’s friendly against Chelsea. His return has been tentatively pencilled in for September.
Also injured in that game was midfielder Thomas Partey, who still needs treatment on his own knee injury. The Ghana international is likely to miss the remainder of the month but should be back in training before the international break.
Finally, centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes is dealing with a knee injury which he picked up with Brazil at the Olympics.
The 23-year-old is making good progress with his recovery and should be back in training in the coming weeks, potentially allowing him to return for the meeting with Manchester City on August 28 if all goes well.