Arsène Wenger will give a number of Arsenal’s key players time off to “regenerate” before the new season – even if it limits his options for the opening Premier League game against Liverpool.
Theo Walcott, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel, Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere – just a couple of weeks after England’s exit from Euro 2016 – are among those to have reported back to London Colney, but Wenger is determined to afford extra holiday to those who endured a busy summer schedule.
The Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey, Germany’s Mesut Özil and the France internationals Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny have been granted an additional break following a draining European Championship campaign.
It remains to be seen how long it will take Alexis Sánchez to recover from the ankle injury he sustained in helping Chile win the Copa América in the United States.
Wenger has said he will not risk the long-term impact of such players over a campaign which starts in four weeks’ time. France lost the Euro 2016 final to Portugal last Sunday.
“You consider the rest time because France had a long, long go and I believe that they need four weeks’ holiday because they need to recover from that,” the manager told Arsenal Player.
“It takes you two or three weeks to regenerate … to recover completely, and they need to come back with hunger. That disappointment to lose a final, it takes some time to recover from that.
“I believe the club benefits from experiences at the top level, and the mental experiences as well that they have gone through with such a huge pressure. Of course, in the longer term you benefit from that.”
Ramsey said after his exertions for Wales at Euro 2016 that he feared he would not be match fit for the beginning of the season.