Arsenal’s head of sports medicine, Dr. Gary O’Driscoll, has chosen to remain at the Emirates Stadium after turning down an offer from Premier League leaders Liverpool.
O’Driscoll had been lined up to replace Andrew Massey at Liverpool, who left Anfield to undertake a new directorial role with FIFA in December.
Arsenal had reportedly resigned themselves to losing O’Driscoll and even started advertising for the role of head of medical services, before eventually convincing a key figure to extend his 11-year stay at the club.
Goal reports that the 49-year-old was flattered to be offered a job by a club of Liverpool’s stature, but ended up staying put for both professional and personal reasons.
O’Driscoll’s family are settled in London and he is excited by the future direction Arsenal appear to be heading in under current boss Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners are obviously very happy to have retained the services of a valuable and respected member of staff, who still has plenty more to contribute in the coming seasons.
O’Driscoll is currently taking in an enforced spell away from the Emirates due to the coronavirus outbreak, with the Gunners closing their training ground after Arteta’s positive diagnosis last week.
All players and staff who have come into contact with the Spaniard recently have gone into self-isolation, and the Premier League has been suspended until April 3 in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The FA came to the decision after holding an emergency meeting on Friday, which was called after Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi was also confirmed to have contracted the illness.
Arteta’s wife Lorena delivered an update on her husband’s condition via social media over the weekend, stating: “My husband is feeling fine, he is well. It’s true that he had symptoms of the virus but the symptoms would have never stopped him from going to work in a normal situation.
“Some temperatures, some headaches but that’s it. That’s his experience. My kids and I are perfectly well.”
European competitions have also been postponed due to the coronavirus crisis, with all of this week’s Champions League and Europa League last-16 fixtures pushed back indefinitely.
UEFA chiefs are scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday to discuss whether the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign will go ahead, with the staging of this summer’s European Championships also now in major doubt.