After Arsenal’s good performance in the early hours of last night, a 3-1 win against Mexican side Chivas, Arsene Wenger was keen to praise his side for their efforts and gave Arsenal fans good news that there was even more to come. After the match Wenger was quoted saying to Arsenal.com: “Not all of [the international players will be back]. But Ramsey will be involved, Sanchez will be involved.”
Many Arsenal stars featured on international duty this summer, with both Euro 2016 and the Copa America taking place. Although most players have now returned, there are a few outstanding numbers who are yet to join back up with the squad. Ramsey progressed further with his national side Wales than was expected at this summers Euro 2016. The Welsh national team reached the semi finals of the European Championships and so Ramsey was granted an extended holiday period. Sanchez of course featured in the Copa America once again with Chile and also won the competition beating Argentina in the final. It was anticipated that Alexis may have made the tour of the USA, because the Copa America final was much earlier than the Euro 2016 final, however due to an injury scare on Alexis’s ankle, the star has recovered just in time for Arsenal’s last legs of pre-season.
Wenger continued to state that although we now have the majority of our squad back in training, there are still three main first team players who are yet to return to the club for pre-season and are unlikely to be fully fit for the season’s opener. Wenger confirmed: “The latest players coming back will not be involved, that’s Ozil, Giroud and Koscielny, they are the last ones and I don’t think they will be involved on the tour on Thursday, but all the others will.”
So although Giroud, Koscielny and Ozil will not feature in Arsenal’s next pre-season match on Thursday, they may be fit enough to be on the bench for the first game of the season against Liverpool. With the Liverpool match not too far away, I’d be very surprised if Giroud and Koscielny are fit enough to start, whilst there is hope that Ozil may make the starting eleven given that he has returned early from his holiday break to meet up with the Arsenal side in LA.
After two strong pre-season performances in America, let’s hope that Arsenal can continue to build on this strong start ahead of the upcoming season.