Mikel Arteta responds to Jose Mourinho’s Covid-19 vaccine message to Arsenal star Granit Xhaka

Mikel Arteta has responded to Jose Mourinho’s message to Arsenal star Granit Xhaka (Pictures: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has responded after Jose Mourinho contacted Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka to urge him to get the Covid-19 jab.

Roma boss Mourinho messaged Xhaka on Instagram to tell him to get the vaccine, just days after the Switzerland star tested positive for coronavirus.

The Swiss FA confirmed Xhaka had decided not to get jabbed but he tested positive for Covid-19 over the international break, therefore missing the friendly victory over Greece and World Cup qualifier draws against Italy and Northern Ireland.

After Xhaka tested positive for coronavirus, former Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea boss Mourinho said: ‘Get the jab Granit and be safe.’

Responding to Mourinho’s message, Xhaka said: ‘Thank you mister’.

Arteta has now been asked if Mourinho if right to encourage players to get vaccinated and insists he too is urging players to get jabbed, although he says ‘we have to respect’ their decision.

‘We are trying to explain all the reasons why we believe it’s the right thing to do,’ Arteta said when asked about Mourinho’s message to Xhaka.

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‘How much it will protect first of all the club, second of all the teammates and the environment they’re around. The exposure around if they don’t do it.

‘At the end it’s a really personal thing. Obviously they will be limited in certain aspects if they don’t because we don’t want to expose ourselves in certain things.

‘In the end it’s a personal matter, not an obligation and we have to respect that.’

Mourinho joined Italian club Roma earlier in the summer and initially tried to make Arsenal’s Xhaka one of his first signings.

Arteta’s Arsenal have lost their opening three Premier League games and host Norwich City on Saturday.

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