Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal will 'pay the price' for players refusing vaccine

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has expressed his fears that players refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccination will put the club at risk moving forward.

Arteta's comments come after Granit Xhaka - who opted not to get vaccinated - contracted coronavirus while on international duty last week.

The midfielder was sent off in the Gunners' most recent league game, being shown a straight for a rash tackle in his side's 5-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City. While he'd have missed this weekend's game regardless of contracting the virus, he is also quarantining in Switzerland and not able to train with the club until at least next week.

Speaking to the press (via Daily Mail) ahead of Arsenal's meeting with Norwich City, Arteta revealed that the club will ultimately 'pay the price' for players refusing the vaccine:

"We are trying to explain all of the reasons why we believe this is the right thing to do.

"First of all how it will protect the club, and secondly the team-mates, the environment they are around and the exposure they will have if they don't do it.

"We have to be on the same page and understand all the facts. The personal facts that someone can have are for many different reasons. Maybe it's health reasons, a contradiction that he has, the way he's been educated or something he believes.

"The other thing is - what is best for the club and the team to try minimise any risk of the player contracting the virus or passing it to anyone else?

"But it's a personal matter, not an obligation, and we have to respect that."

Xhaka isn't the only Arsenal player to have contracted the virus this season, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette missing the defeat to Brentford due to COVID. Ben White, Willian and Alex Runar Runarsson have also been ruled out by the virus.

Source : 90min