Chelsea corona crisis: ‘As many as SIX players test positive for Covid-19’ and another two in quarantine after summer break
Frank Lampard’s rejuvenated Chelsea squad has been dealt a blow ahead of the start of the new season as eight players are told to self-isolate as the club deals with a spate of coronavirus infections.
Chelsea officials confirmed that a number of players – reportedly as many as six – have tested positive for Covid-19 upon their return to the club after a brief summer break, with a further two players also compelled to go into quarantine due to a potential risk of infection.
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Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Fikayo Tomori, four of the young players who made a significant impression on Lampard’s squad last season, are understood to be self-isolating after holidaying together on the Greek island of Mykonos – incidentally the scene of Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire’s recent arrest.
A further four players – Jorginho, Ross Barkley, Emerson and Michy Batshuayi – are also said be undergoing self-isolation. It is unclear at this point which of the players have been confirmed as having tested positive for Covid-19.
Tests were administered to returning players at the end of last week but with the results being less than ideal, several of the club’s most dependable players will now be absent from the team’s activities at their Cobham training center.
Two of the players affected, Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, were named in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad but their status is not thought to affect their ability to meet up with the national squad next week. Southgate is understood to have been fully briefed on the situation when selecting his squad.
Barkley was also pictured holidaying on Mykonos while Jorginho visited Capri in Italy and Batshuayi in Cannes, France. Mykonos has been a popular destination amongst Premier League footballers this summer, given that more traditional holiday spots like Las Vegas, Ibiza and Marbella were announced by the UK Foreign Office as to be avoided for non-essential travel.
Fourteen positive tests have now been recorded at twelve different Premier League Clubs ahead of the upcoming season kick-off, including players from Sheffield United, West Ham and Brighton.
It was also reported on Thursday that Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba has been diagnosed with the illness.
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The situation at Stamford Bridge, however, will throw a spanner in the works of Frank Lampard’s early season plans as he attempts to bridge the divide between his side and Liverpool and Manchester City. The West London club completed the signing of England international fullback Ben Chilwell from Leicester City on Wednesday and on Thursday announced the free transfer acquisition of 21-year-old defender Malang Sarr from Ligue 1 outfit Nice.
Veteran Brazilian Thiago Silva and young German sensation Kai Havertz are also widely expected to be added to the fold in the coming days.