Dubai-based restaurateur Nusret Gokce posted a picture of he and Willian together on social media
Credit: Instagram: nusr_et
Willian will have to return a negative coronavirus test before he is allowed to train at Arsenal again after he flew to Dubai during the international break.
The UK’s latest travel guidance states that international travel from England is restricted “except in limited circumstances such as work or education”.
Arsenal were on Tuesday trying to establish the full facts of Willian’s trip, which has come to light after he posed for a social media picture with a restaurant owner.
Willian was pictured at the Nusr-Et steakhouse, a regular haunt for footballers and celebrities, with the chain’s owner, Nusret Gokce. The restaurateur, who is more widely known as “Salt Bae”, posted the image on Instagram on Monday night.
Sam Dean's Arsenal briefing
The Arsenal winger is understood to have returned to England and has not been required to self-isolate. He will have to show he has not contracted the virus before he can return to training, though.
Willian has struggled for form since joining Arsenal from Chelsea in a free transfer this season. He started the season well, impressing in a victory over Fulham, but is yet to score for his new club and has not registered an assist since the opening weekend.
His trip to Dubai comes as clubs across Europe are losing players due to positive Covid-19 tests while on international duty.
Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny is among those to have tested positive for the virus during the international break, and he will therefore miss his side’s trip to face Leeds United this weekend.
The Egyptian’s test result came after his international team-mate Mohamed Salah also tested positive last week.
And there were further coronavirus-related complications for Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was forced to spend hours overnight at an airport in Gambia due to reported issues with the Gabon team’s Covid-19 testing.
Aubameyang said he and his team-mates were made to feel like “hostages”, while the Confederation of African Football has launched an investigation into what took place at the airport.