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big call Premier League managers unite to urge players to get jabbed to avoid Covid chaos


Covid warning: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. Photo: PA Wire

Covid warning: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. Photo: PA Wire

Covid warning: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. Photo: PA Wire

Premier League managers have united in calling for more players to get vaccinated against Covid-19 amid rising concerns about further disruption to the professional game and the potential impact of “conspiracy theories” on young footballers.

A series of top-flight managers, including Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta, have urged their squads to follow medical advice by getting two jabs as the pandemic continues to cause problems within squads.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce cited “conspiracy theories” as a reason why players are reluctant to step forward and revealed that “a lot” of his squad have not been vaccinated.

The calls come after Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow was admitted to hospital with coronavirus earlier this summer, while United goalkeeper Dean Henderson is still not available for selection despite contracting the virus in mid-July.

Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, who is fully vaccinated, has become the latest top-flight player to be ruled out of action after testing positive, while Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette is also unavailable this weekend as he struggles with symptoms of the virus.

Lacazette was one of four Arsenal players who missed their opening-day defeat at Brentford after contracting Covid before the start of the season, with Arteta revealing yesterday that he was surprised the match had not been postponed.

Arteta said “most” of his players were fully vaccinated and that the club have been encouraging the more reluctant members of his squad to step forward. The Arsenal manager described getting vaccinated as a “gesture of generosity”, adding: “It’s not about protecting ourselves, it’s about protecting the people around us as well.”

Bruce, meanwhile, warned that players could be turned away from the vaccine by conspiracy theories.

“We have got a lot of players who haven’t had the jab,” Bruce said. “It’s their prerogative, but you can only go by the advice all the Premier League managers were given a week or so ago. Half of the meeting surrounded Covid and how vital it is that people are jabbed. We’ve had two or three players really sick with Covid here.”

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]