The first high-profile victim of the coronavirus pandemic in the Premier League, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, has now fully recovered from the illness. The Arsenal boss was the first Premier League manager to test positive for the coronavirus on 12 March and since then the 37-year-old Spaniard was placed in isolation at his home in London. He had revealed that he was feeling unwell after it was confirmed Evangelos Marinakis, the owner of Greek club Olympiakos, had coronavirus on 10 March. The Greek club played against Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League in February.
Arteta said: "It took me three or four days to start feeling better, with more energy, to leave the symptoms behind. I am very well now. I feel that I have recovered." The whole Arsenal team was placed in home isolation following Arteta's diagnosis and were supposed to return to training after 14 days. That return has now been postponed since the Premier League is now suspended until 30 April. "As a result of the current situation, we are clear it would be inappropriate and irresponsible to ask players to come back at this time," Arsenal said in a statement. "Therefore our men's first team, women and academy players are all remaining at home. Stay at home and save lives."
The Gunners were due to face Manchester City on 11 March, one day after Olympiakos owner Marinakis tested positive. Several Arsenal players had decided to go into self-isolation after the news of Marinakis' positive test, because they had contact with him. Manager Mikel Arteta now reveals the full story: "I got a call from the board of directors after training while I was in my car and they told me the president of Olympiakos had tested positive, and everyone who had been in contact was at risk. I went on to tell them that I wasn't feeling well and that we had a situation because we had lots of players that had been in contact with them. We had a game against Manchester City the next day and obviously we couldn't put lots of people at risk without saying anything. Obviously all those who had been in contact with me had to go into quarantine, and consequently games had to be suspended."
The Premier League is currently suspended until 30 April, while all football in Spain, including La Liga, is put on hold indefinitely. There are over 380,000 coronavirus cases all over the world, and over 16,500 people have died because of this virus.
“Mikel Arteta: Arsenal manager says he has recovered from coronavirus”, BBC Sport, March 23, 2020.