EPL 2021-22: After home assault, Manchester City's Joao Cancelo makes himself available for Arsenal game
Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo suffered facial injuries after being attacked by four people during a burglary at his home on Thursday night.
Following Thursday night's attack by four people during a burglary at Joao Cancelo's home, there were doubts surrounding the Manchester City defender's availability for the Premier League clash against Arsenal on New Year's Day at Emirates Stadium. However, it is now confirmed that Joao Cancelo has travelled to London and is available for the EPL leaders' game tomorrow. The City full-back felt able to make himself available for the Arsenal match, and the Manchester City staff were happy enough with the checks they made to allow the same.
Earlier, City had said that its staff have been with Joao Cancelo to support both him and his family. The defender was assessed physically and mentally before it was decided that he would travel London with the squad for tomorrow's match against the Gunners.
This news comes as a huge boost to Manchester City as the 27-year-old has been one of their key defensive mainstays this season. Joao Cancelo played the entire 90 minutes in their 1-0 victory at Brentford on Wednesday night. A win extended City's lead at the top of the Premier League table to eight points. Following the victory, manager Pep Guardiola said that the title race is far from over for his side.
Cancelo had posted an Instagram story on Thursday night revealing facial injuries he suffered following the assault by four attackers, who stole jewellery from him and tried to hurt his family. In the post, Cancelo added, "Unfortunately today, I was assaulted by four cowards who hurt me and tried to hurt my family. When you show resistance, this is what happens."
Cancelo shared a photo that revealed a deep cut above his right eye, adding that he doesn't know how some people have such meanness. However, the most important thing for him is his family, and 'luckily, they are all OK'.
Expressing confidence that he will overcome this incident, Cancelo also stated, "After so many obstacles in life, this is just one more, which I will overcome; Firm and strong, like always."
Following this incident, Manchester City issued a statement expressing shock over the assault. The statement read: We are shocked and appalled that Cancelo and his family were subjected to a burglary at their home during which Joao was also assaulted.
Confirming that the Club will look into the same, City added, "Joao & his family are being supported by the Club. He is helping the police with their enquiries as they investigate this very serious matter."
Cancelo joined Manchester City from Juventus in August 2019, which saw Danilo move the other way as part of the deal.
Meanwhile, Arsenal will miss manager Mikel Arteta's presence at the touchline in tomorrow's clash after the Spaniard was tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week. Arsenal will now depend on the combination of assistant managers Albert Stuivenberg and Steve Round, who will direct the players on the pitch and communicate strategy to an isolated Arteta.