Arsene Wenger was already aware that he would be missing quite a few of his key players when Arsenal kick off the new Premier League season against Liverpool next weekend. Because of their prolonged involvement at Euro 2016 with Wales, Germany and France, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud were due to come back to London Colney too late to feature in that first game.
Then we got the bad news about Per Mertesacker having to have an operation on his knee as well as the concern that an ankle problem would keep Alexis Sanchez out as well, so it was already looking like a tough start for the Gunners, but that is now even worse after the manager explained that our Spanish midfield maestro Santi Cazorla was not going to be ready either, as reported by Metro.
After the Spaniard’s first pre-season appearance in America Wenger said, ‘At the moment he is not completely there on the fitness front. That’s why I took him off at half-time.
‘He’s a bit behind the others physically but I think he will be alright, maybe not on Aug. 15, but at the end of August he should be alright.’
So not only do Arsenal have that difficult opening game to navigate without Cazorla, but we may not have him for the next game against Leicester and maybe even the trip to Watford, so is this one fitness blow too far for Arsenal to cope with?