Tottenham duo set to miss up to three matches duo to quarantine rules
The international break during a global pandemic was never going to be straightforward. For those Premier League stars off to represent Argentina, this is especially the case, with the country currently on the UK’s red list for travel.
The red list indicates countries that should not be travelled to from the UK, and upon return to the country, travellers must isolate in a hotel for 10 days. As per the official Government website:
“When you arrive in England you must quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 tests”
This in turn led to speculation that the Argentinian players may not be released by their clubs, but both Tottenham and Aston Villa released a quartet of players nonetheless (Cristian Romero, Giovanni Lo Celso, Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia.
Announcing the decision in an official statement, Aston Villa revealed:
Both players [Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia] have agreed to make themselves available for Argentina’s vital first two World Cup qualifying matches against Venezuela and Brazil but will not take part in the third international match against Bolivia.
These arrangements mean that Martínez and Buendía will only miss our Premier League match with Chelsea before being available for the visit of Everton to Villa Park on 18th September in order to comply with the UK’s Covid quarantine regulations.
The fixture list Tottenham released about the international fixtures also seemed to suggest they had come to the same agreement, with only two Argentinian fixtures shown.
“The players are here for three matches”
However, Argentinian coach Lionel Scaloni may have just ripped up that agreement. Speaking to the press ahead of their opening fixture, Scaloni claimed:
“We gave the list for the three matches and there’s no doubt about it. The players are here for the three matches.”
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni on the statement from Aston Villa: “We gave the list for the three matches and there’s no doubt about it. The players are here for the three matches.”
This would mean that Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia would be available for Argentina.
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) September 1, 2021
The last of these matches does not finish until early morning on the 10th September UK time, meaning that the players would not return until the evening of the 10th at the very earliest.
In turn, they would have to quarantine until the 21st of September in a managed hotel, which would likely limit the amount of training they could do.
This would see the Tottenham pair miss vital Premier League games against Chelsea and Crystal Palace, as well as a third-round Carabao Cup tie against Wolves. Their match fitness would likely be touch and go for the North London derby, which takes place on 26th of September.
The Villa duo will also be unavailable for their match against Chelsea, as well as a clash with Everton, while they will also be touch and go for the Villians Carabao Cup tie, again with Chelsea, on the 22nd of September.
Just how much of a blow could this be to both sides?