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Kieran Tierney Quarantine Compounded by Sead Kolasinac

International football, in the middle of a pandemic.

Who thought would be a good idea? Granted, for the competitions that matter, y’know, actual meaningful games, then sure. But when you’ve got players travelling around the world, like Arsenal, for friendly matches, the idea of common sense appears a foreign concept.

While for Mikel Arteta’s men there were a good handful of players who were in competitive action, there were others who weren’t. Yes, you can caveat that by saying Bukayo Saka likely wouldn’t have made his England debut were it not for friendlies, but that would’ve happened eventually anyway.

As is well documented, Kieran Tierney has been told he must self-isolate for 14 days after one of his Scotland teammates, Stuart Armstrong, tested positive for COVID-19. All this despite the left-back producing three negative tests of the virus and repeatedly insisting he followed social distancing guidelines.

Arsenal are building a case to the Scottish government and Scottish Football Association to find an amicable solution, one they claim to have case to support. As it stands, he will not be available for the upcoming Premier League clash against Manchester City. The one where we all hope to see Thomas Partey make his debut in.

While that news is crap enough, Sead Kolasinac was forced off in Bosnia & Herzegovina’s penalty shootout defeat to Northern Ireland in their Nations League play-off clash. Having limped for what appeared like ten or so minutes, he couldn’t continue. Now this could well just be bad cramp, sure, but if the problem looked as bad as it appeared, then Arsenal are up the proverbial creek with not much in the way of a paddle.

But hey, injuries happen. This is football. Well, in fact, this is Arsenal, we love a good injury crisis or two.

It could well be that both are fit and un-isolated enough to play at the Etihad on the 17th, or we could have neither. Competitive international football still needs to take place, but adding friendly clashes into the picture merely opens the door for more situations such as these to take place – even if both players were in play-off action.

As we await the outcome of both players’ immediate futures, the best we can do is cross our fingers and toes that the end result isn’t dire. If it is, the end result against City most likely will be.

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