Arsenal look set to be without Kieran Tierney for their trip to Manchester City in the Premier League after the defender’s Scotland team-mate, Stuart Armstrong, tested positive for coronavirus.
Armstrong returned a negative test on arrival at Scotland’s Oriam training base but the supplementary UEFA test came back positive on Wednesday morning.
The Southampton midfielder must self-isolate for ten days from October 6, the date he was tested, and will therefore play no part in Scotland’s upcoming matches with Israel, Slovakia and Czech Republic,
Every other player in Steve Clarke’s squad tested negative for COVID-19 but Ryan Celtic’s Christie and Tierney came into close contact with Armstrong, meaning they too will have to self-isolate for 14 days as of yesterday.
Two members of Scotland’s staff – a masseur and a physiotherapist – will also have to self-isolate after being identified as close contacts.
‘While this is obviously disappointing news the most important thing is the health and safety of the individuals involved and the wider group,’ Scotland head coach Clarke said.
‘As soon as we were informed of the positive test, the Chief Medical Consultant immediately contacted the Scottish Government’s clinical adviser, who in turn alerted the local Health Protection Team.
‘We have informed the respective clubs from whom we have borrowed the players and backroom staff and we now have to prepare for a huge match ahead tomorrow.’
Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell added: ‘We were made aware of the positive test this morning and I reiterate Steve’s view that the health and safety of those involved is paramount.
‘We will maintain constant dialogue with Dr John MacLean to ensure that those who are required to self-isolate are given the full support of the Scottish FA in conjunction with their clubs.
‘Equally, the protocols and procedures in place are designed to ensure that the remaining members of the squad – who have all returned two rounds of negative tests – can continue to prepare for the forthcoming matches in a safe and secure environment.’
Tierney has started three of Arsenal’s four opening matches in the Premier League this season and looked set to continue his run in the side after the international break, when the north London club travel to the Etihad.
The left-back’s progress was hampered by injury problems following a £25million move from Celtic to Arsenal last summer but he went on to cement his place in the side towards the end of the campaign under Mikel Arteta and has impressed this term.
‘The winning mentality means a lot in football, the manager wants to bring that to Arsenal because they’ve obviously gone through a spell were the fans weren’t happy, the club was not happy and the players weren’t happy, we were not achieving what we wanted to achieve,’ Tierney said when asked about Arteta last month.
‘Him coming in and knowing what the club was about helped, knowing it needed success and trophies, Arsenal need to be high up in the league as well.
‘From me learning there and hopefully bringing a bit of that here, it’s going to benefit everyone.’
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