In news that honestly isn’t an irrelevant joke, Manchester City announced on Christmas morning that Gabriel Jesus had tested positive for COVID-19.
Jesus and his city teammate Kyle Walker both tested positive for the coronavirus this week and will go into self-isolation, as have two club staff who have also tested positive.
A city statement read: “Manchester City FC can confirm that Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. The four staff will now observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with the Premier League and the UK. Government quarantine protocol.
“Everyone at the Club wishes our colleagues a speedy recovery over the Christmas period before they return to work, training and competition.”
Jesus scored the first goal in a tie-break League Cup quarter-final victory over Arsenal midweek, but there is no indication that Gunners staff will be affected by his positive test.
Walker and the Brazil forward are unlikely to be available for Boxing Day’s game against Newcastle at the Etihad – but City may not be too concerned about their absences, having not lost at home to the Magpies in the league for 20 years.
The 2018/19 champions will travel to Goodison Park on Monday night to take on top-flight Everton, in a match where double absences can be felt more strongly.
Jesus’ goal against Arsenal this week was his first in eight games, having scored in his first three games of the season – against Wolves, Olympiacos and Liverpool. That run was interrupted in a 2-0 defeat to Spurs at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and City will be well served if they can keep up the habit of scoring on their return.
Again, not a new joke. We were told on Christmas Day that Jesus had tested positive. 2020 is a journey.