Arsenal’s World Cup winners will miss start of season
Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal’s three World Cup winning players will miss the start of the new season.
Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski have been given more time to recover after playing their part in Germany’s World Cup triumph this summer.
The trio will not return to pre-season training until August 11, just five days before the club’s Premier League campaign kicks off with the visit of Crystal Palace to the Emirates.
They also miss the Community Shield match against Manchester City on August 10, but Wenger hinted that Mertesacker could feature in the Champions League qualifier which follows the Palace fixture.
"I’ve given them a good break because I’ve experience of players who have been far in the World Cup. You need a rest," said the Gunners boss.
"Will they be ready? I think Mertesacker certainly because he prepares individually very well. They have a little chance.
"For the first game I don’t think they will be ready for August 16. They come back beginning on August 11. All three."
Aaron Ramsey watched his team-mates’ heroics in Brazil and believes they will return to the Emirates on a high.
Injuries disrupted the Welshman’s fine form for Arsenal, but the fit-again midfielder is relishing the start of another season.
Ramsey said: "Obviously I didn’t play in the World Cup so I’ve been itching to get back and now we’re back involved again, getting ourselves ready for the season. I cannot wait for that moment to come along again.
"It’s a fantastic achievement. Germany have always been very strong in the World Cup and the Euros. They’ve had a great team spirit and that showed in the World Cup and it’s fantastic for them and for the club."
Ramsey is looking forward to linking up with exciting new recruit Alexis Sanchez, who joined Arsenal in a big-money move from Barcelona.
"Fantastic signing. He had a great World Cup with Chile as well, so we’re all looking forward to that. I’m sure he’ll settle in just fine."