Juventus announced on Friday that midfielder Arthur Melo and reserve goalkeeper Carlo Pinsoglio have both tested positive for COVID-19.
The Juventus first team have returned to Continassa following the winter break and are now preparing for their first game of 2022 against Napoli on January 6. The Bianconeri closed 2021 out with a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions to leave them within touching distance of Serie A’s top-four.
However, their preparations for the start of the new year have taken a minor setback with the club announcing two fresh positive results on Friday.
Juventus’ statement regarding the positive tests
A club statement read: “Juventus Football Club announces that, during the screening procedure for the resumption of competitive activity, first-team players Carlo Pinsoglio and Arthur tested positive for COVID-19.
“The aforementioned players are already observing the regulations and have been placed in solitary confinement, in compliance with the health protocol in force.”
As a result, both players are likely to miss the first game of the year against Napoli, with their statuses for the subsequent trip to AS Roma on January 9 also in doubt. Admittedly, Pinsoglio and Arthur haven’t been exactly influential on-field figures this season, and Massimiliano Allegri’s side should cope in their absence.
Pinsoglio, the club’s third-choice goalkeeper, is yet to take to the field this season, while Arthur has seemingly been put up for sale by the Bianconeri. Sevilla are interested in signing the metronomic Brazilian on loan this winter.
Juventus’ under-23’s hit by COVID-19
Nevertheless, there’s always the risk of further members of the squad testing positive following Friday’s results. On Thursday, La Gazzetta dello Sport reporter Giovanni Albanese reported that under-23 players Matias Soule, Fabio Miretti and Matteo Anzolin tested positive for the virus.
Serie A is yet to endure the COVID-influenced disruption that has swept the Premier League over the festive period, but increasing Omicron figures across Europe means it’s entirely possible for the Italian top-flight to endure a similar fate to its English counterparts.
It’s already been reported that Serie A stadiums will have their capacities downgraded from 75% to 50% full in the new year amid the surge in COVID cases.