Chelsea‘s defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante failed to train on Wednesday over the fear of COVID-19. While Manchester United’s captain, Harry Maguire, became the first player in the Premier League to publicly confess how safe it feels to return to training after the testing of playing and non-playing staff in the league for coronavirus.
The Premier League is drawing closer to the actualisation of “Project Restart”. The league is already in the first phase of that process which is training in small groups of 5 under stringent social distancing guidelines. This process is expected to lead to the restart of the league in June.
From Sunday to Monday, before the commencement of the training on Tuesday, the Premier League subjected all the playing and non-playing staff of the 20 clubs in the league to coronavirus test. Out of the 748 tests conducted, 6 returned positive.
This outcome sent fear deep into the hearts of some players. The first player that publicly declared that he would not participate in the training was the Watford’s captain Troy Deeney, citing the health condition of his months old son.
In the case of N’Golo Kante, he was with the team when Chelsea‘s coach Frank Lampard ordered the team to resume training 4 pm on Tuesday. The 29-year-old French international reportedly approached the club afterwards to say he would like to withdraw from training over coronavirus concerns. The club reportedly permitted him not to attend the training. Hence, on Wednesday he didn’t show up at the training ground.
Kante‘s fear of the virus could base at the fact that he fainted on the training ground months ago and his brother died of health-related illness in 2018.
But Harry Maguire seems not to have any problem at all. His club, Manchester United resumed training on Wednesday and he feels there won’t be any problem if the players continue to respect the social distancing guidelines already in place.
“It’s our first day back today, but it seems so safe and everyone is respecting it so well, so long may that continue and I’m sure no one will have any problems”, he told Manchester United’s website.
“There are a lot fewer people at the training ground when we go in. Today I was in a group of four, working with one coach, so not many people.
“You’ve got a lot of space, big areas, not going really close to anyone, but the main thing is getting the work in and it was a tough session, [then] go home and now I’m relaxed and it’s all in the bank and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”