Arsenal have revealed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Alex Runarsson all tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

The absence of the two strikers for the first game of the new Premier League season was the subject of intense speculation, but the most logical explanation was linked the global pandemic the world is experiencing right now.

Of the four, Lacazette and Runarsson have been categorically been ruled out of the Chelsea game, with Aubameyang set to return for training and further assessment before Sunday.

On Willian, the club says, “His health and fitness will be monitored and assessed ahead of Sunday’s match.”

Hopefully all four recover fully from the virus.

The Gunners will be without Thomas Partey (ankle), Gabriel (knee) and Eddie Nketiah (ankle), but will hope to be boosted by the availability of Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale, both of whom underwent medicals today before their transfers from Real Madrid and Sheffield United are made official.

There is some doubt over the Norwegian who now, because of Brexit, requires a visa, and it remains to be seen if that will be issued in time.

Both players must be registered before midday on Friday to be eligible for selection on Sunday.

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