His agent said on Monday that Arsenal and Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny tested positive for Covid-19 as data released by the Premier League showed a sharp increase in cases coinciding with a break from the national team.
Already unpopular with Premier League clubs due to the risk of injury to key players, the mood among the likes of Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta and his fellow bosses is unlikely to improve in the last round of weekly tests November 9-15. shows the Premier League has identified 16 positive cases of coronavirus from 1,207 tested players and personnel.
This compares with four positives out of 1,646 tests during the week of November 2-8 and the previous weekly high of 10 positives.
While players who were absent from the international stage at the time were not included in the latest Premier League figures, there may now be concerns that the impact of players returning from long-distance business trips has led to a sharp increase in reported cases.
Those who test positive will now self-isolate for 10 days.
In line with Premier League policy, they have for a long time refused to name the participating clubs or individuals.
Elneny’s agent, Alan Nazmi, tweeted: “Elneny Positive Cov19 will recover soon.”
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Football Association has confirmed in a Facebook post that Elneny is being quarantined under medical protocols.
His Covid-19 result was received just three days after it was announced that Mohamed Salah of Liverpool also tested positive during his international service with Egypt.
“The results of the medical swabs taken by the national team upon arrival in Togo showed negative results for all, except for Arsenal player Mohamed Elneny, who tested positive without any symptoms,” the EFA said.
“The player immediately started implementing a special medical protocol for people infected with Covid-19.”
Egypt’s squad without Salah beat Togo 1-0 in Cairo on Saturday in the first of two consecutive African Cup of Nations 2021 qualifiers between the two nations.
Already this season, Salah has scored eight Premier League goals for Liverpool.
If he is sidelined, it will be a blow to Liverpool Premier League champions, who lost Senegalese striker Sadio Mane early in the season when he also tested positive for coronavirus, although he has since returned to the team.
Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has already lost defender Joe Gomez to a knee ligament injury he sustained while on duty for England last week.
The club says that Gomez will likely be suspended from the game for several months.
And the Reds are calculating the cost of depriving key center-back Virgil van Dijk for much of the season after he tore his knee ligaments in a clash with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford last month.