Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud have all been ruled out of Arsenal’s opening Premier League fixture against Liverpool, manager Arsene Wenger confirmed.
Playmaker Ozil, centre-back Koscielny and striker Giroud have not resumed training following their exploits at Euro 2016 in July, and the key trio will now miss the visit of Liverpool on August 14.
At the European Championships, Ozil’s Germany lost in the semi-finals, while France duo Koscielny and Giroud tasted heartbreaking defeat in the final to Portugal.
Speaking after Arsenal’s 8-0 friendly rout of Norwegian outfit Viking on Friday, Wenger said: “The Liverpool game will come too early for them.”
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 5, 2016
The absence of Giroud leaves Wenger short on forward options, though Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom continue to stake their claims for a starting berth.
Walcott opened his pre-season account against Viking, while Akpom maintained his first form heading into the Premier League campaign after netting his third goal.
Joel Campbell and Alex Iwobi scored braces, with Santi Cazorla and an own goal inspiring the demolition.
Meanwhile, Arsenal completed the signing of 18-year-old Nigerian attacker Kelechi Nwakali on the same day.
Nwakali, who captained Nigeria to glory in the Under-17 World Cup in Chile last year, is set to be loaned out.