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04th Sep 2021

Jose Mourinho urges Granit Xhaka to get Covid vaccine after positive test

Roma boss Jose Mourinho has urged Granit Xhaka to get a Covid vaccine after the Arsenal midfielder tested positive having not received a jab

Reuben Pinder

“Be safe.”

Jose Mourinho has urged Granit Xhaka to get the Covid vaccine after the midfielder tested positive having not received a jab against the virus, is a sentence I never thought I would write.

The Swiss FA recently confirmed that Xhaka had chosen not to get the vaccine, a decision they left to each individual player.

“Granit Xhaka was not vaccinated,” the Swiss FA’s head of communications, Adrian Arnold said.

“He’s a player who isn’t vaccinated. We left this up to each player. It’s a personal decision of each player – just like any other person in Switzerland.

“We have issued a recommendation that everyone vaccinates. But he decided for himself personally. And it is also his right not to be vaccinated.”

Swiss FA president Dominique Blanc said: “We stand for respect and tolerance. Therefore we condemn the hostility against Granit Xhaka for not being vaccinated.”

The Arsenal man was ruled out of Switzerland’s game against Greece on Wednesday after showing symptoms of Covid-19 and returning a positive PCR test.

Since this news, José Mourinho – rarely a voice of reason but offering sound advice here – has urged Xhaka to get the vaccine.

Commenting on one of Xhaka’s recent Instagram posts, Roma manager Mourinho said: “Get the jab Granit and be safe.”

Xhaka appeared to take the advice on board, though there’s no indication he will actually follow Mourinho’s orders, and replied: “Thank you mister.”

This interaction might come as a surprise to some, given the pair have never worked together. But they had expected to this season, with Xhaka relentlessly linked with a move to Roma before eventually staying at Arsenal.

Let’s hope Mourinho developed enough of an influence over Xhaka throughout their summer conversations to convince him to get vaccinated in order to protect himself and others.

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