Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, has urged his players to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Arteta warned that “the team will pay the price” of another outbreak within the squad.
Granit Xhaka became the latest member of the Gunners’ squad to test positive while away on international duty with Switzerland.
This season alone, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Alex Runarsson missed the start of the campaign after contracting the virus.
The £50million summer signing Ben White was also ruled out of games against Chelsea and Manchester City due to his own positive test.
“We are trying to explain all the reasons why we believe it is the right thing to do,” Arteta said.
“How much it will protect first of all the club, secondly their teammates and the environment they are around, the exposure we will have if they don’t do it. But at the end of the day, it is a really personal thing.
“Obviously they will be limited in certain aspects if they don’t because we don’t want to expose ourselves in certain things. But at the end, it is a personal matter, it is not an obligation and we have to respect that.
“For example, travelling. If they are not vaccinated and travel or socialise in certain places, obviously, the risk increases a lot and we don’t want any of that exposure within our players because, in the end, the team and the club will pay the price.
“What we have to do is just be on the same page and understand all the facts, and all the facts are the personal facts that somebody can have for many different reasons, maybe it’s a health issue, maybe it is a contradiction that he has or the way he’s been educated or some beliefs, and the other one is what is best for the club and the team to try to minimise any risk of the player contracting the virus or passing it to anyone else.”
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