Arsene Wenger has outlined his frustration at Aaron Ramsey’s prolonged injury absence as the Arsenal midfielder prepares to undergo “pre-season” again to regain fitness.
Ramsey has featured just once for the Gunners this season, playing an hour of their season-opening defeat to Liverpool before suffering a hamstring injury.
The Wales star returned to training this week after skipping international duty, but is not fit to return to a midfield that will be bolstered by Francis Coquelin’s comeback against Swansea City at the Emirates on Saturday.
Ramsey made 31 Premier League appearances last season in a campaign that featured thigh and hamstring injuries and Wenger will not rush the 25-year-old back to action.
Wenger said at his pre-match media conference: “I must say I’m disappointed because he has worked very hard and he had a few little setbacks that forced us to be cautious.
“He’s not far away and is on the last stage to build up his fitness, but next week will come too early.
“It’s a vicious circle. He had the little setback so we rested him and the more that lasts, the longer you have to build his fitness.
“He has been out for six weeks then you have to create three weeks preparation to build him up to where he was before. We have decided we’ll give him a complete pre-season now even if he misses one or two more games.”
Olivier Giroud also misses out against the Swans, but Mesut Ozil is expected to feature, despite his half-time withdrawal in Germany’s World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland on Tuesday.
“He told us he’s completely fit, we’ll see today if we have no bad news,” Wenger said. “I expect him to be available as he has only played one half so he doesn’t need to be rested on Saturday.”
Wenger will provide Bob Bradley’s first opposition as Swansea manager and he backed the American to overcome the kind of scepticism he fought off when Arsenal appointed him over 20 years ago.
“Bob Bradley has big experience, he’s not a beginner,” Wenger said.
“He has travelled a lot, accumulated a lot of experience in States and been in Egypt, as well as France recently. He’s coming now to England – what is certainly for him a fantastic opportunity.
“It’s good for the Premier League because the Premier League is taking off in the States and to have an American will create more interest in the States. Overall he’s equipped to deal with what is requested of him.”
Wenger added: “I’m very cautious. We had last year a very negative experience with Swansea, which killed our opportunity to win the championship.
“We have opportunity to show we have learned from that and we can deal with this kind of opponent.
“We need to refocus because our players have been away – we had nobody here basically – and show we can deal with fixtures where we are the favourites.
“We could not always do that last season and we want to show we have moved forward.”