Gunners cancel pre-season tour due to Covid-19

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Arsenal have canceled their pre-season tour to the United States after a number of positive Covid-19 cases at the club.

In the USA, the Gunners planned to compete in the Florida Cup, together with Inter, Everton and Colombian Millonarios FC.

? EXCL: Arsenal pre-season tour to the US was canceled due to # COVID19 fall in #AFC camp. Small number of positives in traveling party, all asymptomatic. Club working on alternative plans when virus increases devastation ahead of new PL season @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/vUi7ElyuYZ

– David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 20, 2021

But these plans must now be scrapped. According to Athletic, a small number of traveling party have tested positive for the virus and the club has made the decision to cancel the trip.

The news is a significant blow to Arteta’s preparations for the season. The Florida Cup would have seen them increase the intensity when they would play Serie A winner Inter on Sunday 25 July. Depending on the result, they would then have advanced to the final or third place match against one of Everton and Millonarios.

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It is not clear what Arteta intends to replace the club’s US tour with. The Gunners before the season, however, are already well on their way. They started with a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Hibernian before playing a 2-2 draw with Steven Gerrards Rangers.

The potential delay of the matches means that Arsenal fans will have to wait a little longer to witness the new signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga in action. The 21-year-old midfielder recently arrived from Anderlecht for around £ 15m plus extra and supporters are delighted to see what he will bring with him.

It is unlikely that Lokonga will be the last new face through the door at the Emirates Stadium this summer. After seriously overwhelming last season and limping to an eighth-placed Premier League finish, they are set to spend big in the summer transfer window.

Ben White is among Arsenal’s goals / Marc Atkins / Getty Images

They are particularly keen to recruit younger English players with Leicester City’s James Maddison, Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale and Brighton’s Ben White among their top goalscorers.

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