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Ian Wright shares Houssem Aouar wish while giving verdict on Arsenal new boy Thomas Parety

Ian Wright would like to see Arsenal revive their interest in Houssem Aouar. Arsenal tried to acquire the France international’s services from Ligue 1 giants Lyon in the summer.

The north Londoners tabled two bids for the midfielder, the second of which is understood to have been in the region of £35million.

Lyon rebuffed both of the Gunners’ approaches for the 22-year-old, insisting their offers fell well short of their asking price.

That paved the way for the north Londoners to sign Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid on deadline day, with the current FA Cup holders forking out £45million for the Ghanaian.

The arrival of Partey has pleased Wright, although the Gunners’ former record goalscorer admits he’d still like to see his old bring Aouar to the Emirates.

JUST IN: Mikel Arteta warned making Arsenal formation change will not fix issue

’m hoping they can still get him at some stage but Partey is a massive improvement on what Arsenal have got

Ian Wright, Arsenal’s former record goalscorer, on Houssem Aouar

“I’m very happy,” Wright told Premier League Productions when asked about Arsenal’s acquisition of Partey. “The way he played in midweek against Rapid Vienna, okay they’re not the greatest opposition but he was magnificent.

“He’s exactly what Arsenal are looking for. He can bring the ball forward and he can set moves going.

“I think we’ll see Xhaka dropping in and Ceballos further forward because at the end of the day that’s where Arsenal still need to create in that last third of the pitch.

“I don’t mind that [Partey’s disciplinary record] because he’s somebody that does intercept.

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“Already from his first game he’s got more interceptions individually than the rest of Arsenal’s midfield. He’s somebody that can win the ball but he can progress the ball.

“They still need more, he’s not the main one and that’s why Arsenal went for Houssem Aouar as well.

“I’m hoping they can still get him at some stage but Partey is a massive improvement on what Arsenal have got.”

Arsenal are understood to still be interested in signing Aouar, although they’ll reportedly face competition for his services.

According to reports, Italian and French champions Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have entered the race to sign the midfielder.

Aouar and his Lyon team-mates will be back in action on Sunday night, travelling to the Stade Pierre Mauroy to take on Lille.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will welcome Irish side Dundalk to the Emirates on Thursday for their second Europa League group match.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says criticism comes with the territory for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists he is not surprised by any criticism levelled at captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the forward is expected to score in every game he plays.

The 31-year-old has been Arsenal’s talisman in front of goal since his arrival in January 2018 but he had gone four matches without scoring until hitting the winner in Thursday’s 2-1 Europa League victory at Rapid Vienna.

Having started the season with fine strikes against Liverpool in the Community Shield and on the opening day of the Premier League campaign at Fulham, Aubameyang then drew a blank.

He also struggled for goalscoring opportunities in wins over West Ham and Sheffield United and, more notably, during defeats at Liverpool and Manchester City.

Aubameyang has scored 19 goals in 29 appearances for Arsenal since Arteta’s appointment in December but, despite that record, the Spaniard is not shocked to see people find fault in the forward’s game.

“Expectations for him are that he has to score a goal every game,” he said.

“So this comes with the nature of the big player that he is, what he has done in the past. People expect that from him in the future.

“We are here to help him with that, and we will support him when difficult times come around him.

“He needs to get in more goalscoring opportunities, he needs to get the ball more round the box, in order to do what he is able to do.”

Arteta also pointed to the calibre of recent opposition has led to Aubameyang having more of a struggle in front of goal.

“If you look at our fixtures we have already played five games out of seven against top, top opposition,” he said.

“It is the same for him or (Manchester City striker) Sergio Aguero, who didn’t have a shot on target as well on the weekend. It is not an isolation of just our player.”

Aubameyang has been largely deployed on the left flank in recent months by Arteta, a move which saw the Gabon international flourish in the big games – scoring a brace in both the FA Cup semi-final win over City and Chelsea in the final.

Arteta moved him into a central position during the recent win over Sheffield United and knows there will always be questions asked of decisions.

“That is always going to happen,” he replied when asked about calls for Aubameyang to play through the middle.

“The moment he does not score, he needs to play as a number nine.

“If you play him as a nine, why don’t you keep him on the left because he has been so successful on the left. Its going to happen, I know.”

PA

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta responds to Mesut Ozil after star tweets during match

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has offered a positive reaction to Mesut Ozil live-tweeting during their Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna. Ozil, who did not travel to Austria after being left out of their squad for the competition, posted regular updates throughout the game on social media.

Arteta, who opted not to select Ozil in their Europa League squad earlier this month before also snubbing him from their Premier League squad list this week, was asked his response to Ozil’s activity.

The German playmaker predicted a 4-1 win for the Gunners and offered his support watching on from home.

They eventually edged out a 2-1 win, coming from behind with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netting the winner.

JUST IN: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta makes Thomas Partey promise after debut

Asked about Ozil’s activity after the game, Arteta said: ”It’s great.

“This is what I want from the players who aren’t in the squad.

“This is what I want from all the players that are in our squad. I didn’t expect anything different from that so it’s good to hear.”

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Asked if talk about Ozil is frustrating, he added: “No it’s part of the situation we have and we have big players in this position.

“It’s normal that people want to know, fans want information and you guys have to ask the questions.

“I take it in a natural way and try to respond with honesty and clarity and give information that is available for the inside.”

Speaking about the victory to begin their European campaign, Arteta said: “We knew it was going to be a difficult match.

“We made it harder in the beginning with a few decisions that we made and obviously the goal we conceded, which if anything is obviously my fault because I demand we do those things.

“I really like the reaction. In the second half we understood much better the spaces we have to attack and we played with more purpose.

“We generated much more and we conceded a late chance with another misunderstanding at the back.

“In general we scored two good goals, the second was fantastic. We are delighted to start with a victory.”

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Mesut Ozil pins Arsenal exile on club's links to China

Mesut Ozil believes his Arsenal exile is due to the club’s commercial interests in China after controversial Instagram post last year saw Gunners dropped for a game by their state broadcaster

  • Mesut Ozil was omitted from Arsenal’s Premier League squad on Wednesday
  • Midfielder is convinced decision was influenced by Arsenal’s links to China 
  • Ozil condemned China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims last year
  • The infamous post had damaging commercial consequences for Arsenal

Mesut Ozil is convinced Arsenal’s commercial interests in China influenced the club’s decision to omit him from their Premier League and Europa League squads.

The former Germany midfielder launched a scathing attack on his employers yesterday in which he accused Arsenal of disloyalty, before pointedly adding that he will continue to use his global profile to fight against inhumanity.

Ozil’s inflammatory statement is understood to have been a reference to his infamous Instagram post last December in which he condemned China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province, which despite being quickly disowned by Arsenal still had damaging commercial consequences for the club. 

Mesut Ozil accused Arsenal of disloyalty after he was left out of their Premier League squad

The midfielder has fallen out of favour since Mikel Arteta took over the reins last year

China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, responded by dropping coverage of Arsenal’s Premier League game against Manchester City the following day, while Ozil’s comments were condemned by the Chinese foreign ministry and the Chinese FA.

He was removed from Chinese editions of the Pro Evolution Soccer video game and his profile was erased from the social media platform Weibo, on which he had four million followers.

Arsenal retain a significant commercial presence in China, where the club own a restaurant chain and have an official lottery partner and vehicle provider, which has strengthened Ozil’s conviction that he has been singled out.

Ozil appeared at pains to avoid criticising coach Mikel Arteta, but was scathing towards the club. 

Ozil is convinced Arsenal’s commercial interests in China influenced the decision to omit him

Ozil condemned China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province last year

An Ozil poster wasa brandished at a demonstration in Istanbul in support of Uighur Muslims

‘Upon signing my contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated,’ Ozil said. ‘As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindset.’

The £42m signing started Arteta’s first 10 Premier League matches in charge last season, but has not played since May 7 and will now train with the Under 23s after being omitted from Arsenal’s first-team squads. ‘I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice,’ he added.

Arteta said: ‘What I can say from my side is that it is a football decision. My conscience is very calm because I have been really fair with him.

‘I have to be the one getting the best out of the players. It is my responsibility. It is nothing related to any behaviour or, like I read, the pay cuts.

‘It’s my decision. If someone has to (be blamed) blame me. Here I feel at the moment that I have failed.’  




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Manchester City vs Arsenal result: Raheem Sterling scores the winner in game of few chances

Tactical chess

The line-ups were curious, but the first minutes were revealing just how much these two managers were trying to out-think each other and fill in the weak spots in their teams.

City switched from a 4-2-3-1 base out of possession, to a rotating, roving 3-4-3 in attack. Their switches saw Rodri go from the defensive line to the midfield, Joao Cancelo show all his versatility and tactical flexibility, Nathan Ake be a left-back outlet at times and Bernardo Silva covering every midfield position from between the centre-backs to beyond the striker.

Arsenal were similar: the usual 3-4-3 by line-up, but another very flexible system in and out of possession, with players such as Willian – a centre-forward in the first half – playing unusual roles.

It made for fascinating watching and constant fluctuations of build-up patterns, with the managers both looking to tweak approaches to tilt the game in their favour.

Saka steps up

Among the glut of impressive all-round performers on both sides, Bukayo Saka was particularly excellent.

On the ball he was his usual self: bright, forward-thinking, inventive and tricky to stop on the dribble.

But it was also his intelligence to use space which marks him out, over and over again, as a player who can reach the top.

Defensively he cuts of passing lanes and fortifies the middle of the park with clever positioning, while on the attack he works the flanks, the channel and the very centre of the pitch with equal aplomb.

Big money signing and experience around him will help him develop, and the team, but Saka is again one who keeps showing he can spearhead Arsenal’s brighter future.

Aguero’s return

He didn’t have a huge influence on proceedings in this game, but there’s no understating how important the return of Sergio Aguero from injury.

A long-term absence came to an end with a good run-out here, and though he didn’t see many chances fall his way there was a clear intent to his running and a few moments of link-up with Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling.

Especially with Gabriel Jesus still out injured for quite some time, Aguero’s return is enormous.

With the matches set to come quickly and constantly, it’s a huge boost for City’s title hopes to have a clinical No. 9 back on the pitch.

Partey time soon

Thomas Partey was the summer-long chase Arsenal involved themselves in, but he had a watching brief for most of this game.

His entrance came after 82 minutes, replacing Granit Xhaka – not exactly an all-out-attack change for the manager, and one which kept the system like-for-like.

Thomas will, clearly, play a huge role for Arsenal going forward. His all-action style, ability to cover the entire pitch and naturally aggressive approach are all factors the Gunners have lacked, as well as a more intelligent approach to defensive matters and controlling the game than the Swiss man he replaced.

The question for Arteta will be whether it’s one or the other, or if both can play together in some games with Dani Ceballos the player to be sacrificed.

Tough runs

With both teams in Europe, albeit different competitions, the next four weeks are a non-stop torrent of dealing with fatigue, recovery and different tactical challenges.

City face Porto in midweek, with West Ham thereafter; for the Gunners it’s a trip to Austria and Rapid Wien, then home to Leicester.

Domestically it’s Arsenal who have the tougher tests over the next few weeks, but their start to the season will still give Mikel Arteta reason to think a competitive campaign is in the offing.

For Pep Guardiola, consistency in wins is everything if they are to reclaim the Premier League crown, so taking a win just hours after Liverpool drop points in a big game of their own is reason for short-term smiles, if not long-term proof of a changing of the guard.

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Man City vs Arsenal LIVE: Latest score, goals and updates from Premier League fixture tonight


Manchester City are hosting Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon as Pep Guardiola’s side look to get back on track following a stuttering start to the Premier League season.

City have already recorded a heavy defeat by Leicester and a draw with Leeds from their opening three games, and now face a period without Kevin De Bruyne after he picked up a minor injury on international duty. Arsenal have started the season well with three wins and only one defeat, and Mikel Arteta will be aiming to upset his old mentor Guardiola here. 

Follow all the action below after the conclusion of Chelsea vs Southampton:

45+1 mins: Half time. Arsenal appeal for a penalty after Kyle Walker raised his foot quite high from a corner. They don’t get one and the first half comes to an end with City taking a one-goal advantage into the break. 

42 mins: Ederson to the rescue again as he reacts well to deny Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang one-on-one although the flag went up for offside.

39 mins: Tierney forces his way through the lines and gives it to Saka. He plays a one-two and gets in on goal. The 19-year-old aims for the bottom right corner with his shot but Ederson gets a hand to the ball and it goes wide. 

36 mins: Arsenal are struggling to get the ball to Aubameyang. He’s moved out to the left as the pass comes over the top and he gets in behind Cancelo but he’s barely touched the ball before Walker gets back to stop his run. 

33 mins: Foden finds Aguero as he drifts out to the left. Sterling makes a run into the box but David Luiz cuts out the cross when Aguero puts it in. 

City switch it out to the right where Mahrez collects it. He is forced onto his right foot by Saka but shoots anyway and hits his shot over the crossbar. 

30 mins: Mahrez comes close to making it two. Cancelo gets up the pitch, he feeds the ball into Mahrez’s feet as he comes into the box from the right. He shoots and Leno blocks the shot at the near post. Mahrez takes up the rebound and it’s delfected wide for a corner. 

26 mins: Saka responds for Arsenal with their best chance on goal. He worms his way into the left side of the box and lets fly. Ederson sees it and turns the shot over the crossbar. 

Man City 1 – 0 Arsenal – Sterling

23 mins: GOAL! Mahrez sends Aguero free through the middle of the final third. He brings the ball to the edge of the box and slots it to Foden. Foden takes a touch and has a shot. Leno stops it but only manages to palm it to Raheem Sterling who guides it into the bottom corner. Man City lead. 

18 mins:  Arsenal haven’t had a shot of note at all yet with almost 20 minutes gone but they are seeing slightly more of the ball. Things do tend to get easier if you stop Man City scoring in the first 20 minutes or so. 

15 mins:  Phil Foden loses the ball over on City’s left wing and he takes out Willian trying to win it back. Sloppy from the youngster. 

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Arsenal 'plot £35m January deal for Villarreal centre back Pau Torres'

Arsenal ‘plot £35million January deal for Villarreal’s Pau Torres from under the noses of Manchester United’… as Mikel Arteta looks to sign Spanish centre back who plays under ex-Gunners boss Unai Emery

  • Defender Pau Torres made 34 appearances for LaLiga side Villarreal last season
  • The 23-year-old centre back has established himself as a regular for Spain too
  • Arsenal have now joined the race for Torres, with Manchester United also keen
  • Torres currently plays under former Arsenal manager Unai Emery at Villarreal  

Arsenal are reportedly eyeing a £35million swoop for highly-rated Villarreal defender Pau Torres in January. 

Mikel Arteta strengthened his defence in the summer with the £27m purchase of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille but the Gunners boss and technical director Edu are still keen on improving the back-line this season. 

A deal for Spanish international Torres, who is also interesting Manchester United, would involve dialogue between Arsenal and Unai Emery at Villarreal but the Gunners are confident a transfer can be struck between the two parties, according to Spanish outlet TodoFichajes.

Arsenal are interested in a £35million deal for Villarreal centre back Pau Torres in January


Mikel Arteta is eyeing centre back Torres from Unai Emery, now the manager of Villarreal

Emery became the coach at Villarreal in July on a three-year deal following his sacking at Arsenal in November 2019. 

The report details that both Arsenal and United will battle it out for 23-year-old centre back Torres, who played 90 minutes for Spain in their Nations League games against Switzerland and Ukraine in the international break. 

In addition, RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano was the first choice for both clubs but Liverpool are now believed to be the frontrunners for the France international, the report adds. 

Torres, who came through the youth system at Villarreal, first impressed on loan at Malaga in the Segunda Division in the 2018-19 season, before returning to the LaLiga club. 

He made 34 appearances in the league last season and signed a new contract last November until the summer of 2024, meaning any deal will not come cheap. 

Torres played 90 minutes for Spain in their matches against Switzerland and Ukraine this week

Torres made his international debut last November too – he has recorded five caps for Spain and appears to have solidified his position alongside captain Sergio Ramos in Luis Enrique’s side. 

The Gunners, meanwhile, are still eyeing defensive reinforcements despite a cluster of centre backs on the books at the Emirates Stadium. 

Arteta also completed the permanent signing of Pablo Mari from Flamengo this year and highly-criticised David Luiz was given a one-year contract extension. 

Brazilian pair David Luiz (L) and Gabriel Magalhaes (R) are two options for Arteta at centre back

English defender Rob Holding has featured regularly so far this season while William Saliba, Calum Chambers, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis are other options.

Similarly, United are desperately searching for a new centre back too, given the poor early-season form of current first-team trio Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also opted to sell Chris Smalling to Roma on deadline day and is therefore keen on making a high-quality acquisition at the back in the near-future.




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Arsenal defender Saliba 'could be sent on loan to Championship club'

Arsenal defender William Saliba ‘could be sent on loan to a Championship club’ after failed Saint-Etienne move and omission from Mikel Arteta’s Europa League squad

  • William Saliba is set for another loan spell away from Arsenal this season
  • The teenage defender was bought for £27m from Saint-Etienne in 2019
  • He was immediately loaned back to the Ligue 1 club but suffered injuries
  • Saliba was this week excluded from Arsenal’s Europa League squad 

Arsenal are reportedly hoping to send 19-year-old defender William Saliba on loan to a Championship club in the next week. 

Despite the transfer window coming to a close on Monday, Premier League clubs can still do business with those in the Championship until October 16.

And this has opened up the possibility of Arsenal finding a temporary home for their teenage centre-back, who was this week omitted from Mikel Arteta’s Europa League squad, according to Goal.

William Saliba could be set for a loan move to a Championship club in the next week

First-team appearances will be at a premium for the teenage defender at Arsenal this season

Saliba has yet to feature for the Gunners this season, and came close to rejoining former club Saint-Etienne on loan for a second time in this window.

But a switch failed to materialise before the transfer window closed on Monday night. 

Saint-Etienne have been left unhappy by the Gunners for allowing Saliba’s proposed loan move to fall through despite having a deal agreed ‘long before the transfer window closed’. 

Mikel Arteta this week left the 19-year-old out of his 25-man squad for the Europa League

Promotion hopefuls Brentford are one of the clubs who have reportedly expressed an interest in taking on Saliba, with appearances in the Premier League this season likely to be at a premium. 

Arsenal technical director, Edu, has hinted that there is more business to come from the club in the next week, saying: ‘We don’t stop. Of course we’re open. We never stop.’ 

Saliba was signed for £27m last year but was immediately sent back to France to further hone his game for another season.

But two serious injuries limited him to only 15 appearances before the Ligue 1 campaign was curtailed and ultimately called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.   




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Arsenal to re-open talks with Ozil over ending £350,000-per-week deal

Arsenal to re-open talks with Mesut Ozil over ripping up his £350,000-per-week contract before the January transfer window but German is holding out for almost all his remaining £13m

  • Arsenal will re-open talks with Mesut Ozil about terminating his contract early
  • The Gunners want rid of the German midfielder, who earns £350,000-per-week
  • Arsenal approached Ozil over the past fortnight but attempts were unsuccessful
  • The 31-year-old is said to want virtually all the remaining £13m on his deal paid

Arsenal are to re-open talks with Mesut Ozil ahead of the January transfer window over ending his £350,000-per-week contract early.

The Gunners, it is understood, approached Ozil about reaching a settlement agreement for the final nine months of his contract over the past fortnight but the attempts proved unsuccessful.

Ozil is said to want virtually all the remaining £13million on his deal.

Arsenal will re-open talks with Mesut Ozil over ending his £350,000-per-week deal early

Arsenal approached Ozil over the past fortnight but talks over a settlement were unsuccessful

Ozil is currently frozen out of manager Mikel Arteta’s plans and is yet to play this season

It is now hugely unlikely that Ozil will agree to an early exit from Arsenal before the transfer re-opens in January.

Being without a club during the current period poses obvious problems for players with regards to training.

But the Gunners are ready to make another offer to the World Cup winner with a view to removing him from their wage bill in January.

The prospect of Ozil playing much first-team football before then look remote.

UEFA have already confirmed the German’s omission from Arsenal’s Europa League squad while Ozil is expected to be left out of the club’s 25-man Premier League party.

The German midfielder is said to want virtually all the remaining £13m on his deal to be paid

Ozil has offered to pay the salary of the man inside the Gunnersaurus costume this week

It comes just days after Ozil offered to dip into his own pocket to keep the man inside their Gunnersaurus mascot costume in a job while he remains at the club. 

Jerry Quy, who has filled the role for 27 years alongside a series of other jobs around the club, lost his job as part of Arsenal’s recent Covid-19-related cost-cutting drive.

His position, which he has carried out since Gunnersaurus was introduced in 1993, was deemed no longer essential with games currently being played behind closed doors..

But Ozil vowed to cover his wages, tweeting: ‘I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous and loyal mascot and integral part of our club was made redundant after 27 years.

‘As such, I’m offering to reimburse Arsenal with the full salary of our big green guy as long as I will be an Arsenal player so Jerry can continue his job that he loves so much.’




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Arsenal 'seeking advice' after Kieran Tierney is told to isolate

Arsenal ‘seeking further advice’ after Kieran Tierney is told to isolate for 14 days following Stuart Armstrong’s positive Covid-19 test on Scotland duty… with club insistent full-back has broken NO social distancing rules

  • Kieran Tierney has been forced into isolation while on international duty 
  • Stuart Armstrong tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday afternoon and Tierney is listed as a ‘close contact’ by the Lothian Health Protection Team
  • Arsenal are ‘seeking further advice’ as they insist the player has not broken rules 

Arsenal have announced they are ‘seeking further advice’ after Kieran Tierney was told to isolate for 14 days following a team-mate’s positive coronavirus test. 

Tierney is away with Scotland on international duty and following news of Stuart Armstrong’s positive test on Wednesday, the full-back, along with Celtic’s Ryan Christie, were told to isolate having been identified by the Lothian Health Protection Team as ‘close contacts’ to Armstrong.

A statement by Arsenal insists that Tierney has not breached any Covid-19 protocol and the club are looking into their options with the player now set for a period of 14 days in isolation. 

Kieran Tierney has been told to isolate for 14 days despite his negative coronavirus test

Arsenal are seeking further advice on the decision as they risk being unable to play Tierney

‘Our medical team have confirmed that Kieran was socially distant at all times from the player who tested positive and has broken no rules regarding COVID-19 protocols,’ a statement on the club website read. 

‘We are currently seeking further advice and clarification of the details.’

The statement also included the thoughts of Tierney, who himself tested negative, having been informed of his period in isolation. 

‘I’m so disappointed and frustrated to be in this situation,’ Tierney said. 

Tierney’s international team-mate Stuart Armstrong (pictured) has tested positive for Covid-19

‘I have adhered to all regulations and made sure I was socially distancing from my team mates in the hotel. I’ve also tested negative. 

‘I know Arsenal and the SFA are now in discussions with the Scottish authorities to gain a further understanding.’ 

Scotland face Israel in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday and then Nations League games against Slovakia and the Czech Republic. 

Tierney, along with Armstrong and Christie, will play no part in the games.  




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