Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski likely to miss Arsenal opener

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reveals Mesut Özil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker are set to miss league opener

mesut ozil
Mesut Özil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid in September Photo: Adidas

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker are likely to miss Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace.

The Germany trio have been given an extended summer break after helping their country win the World Cup in Brazil this month.

For the first game I don’t think they will be ready for 16 August

Arsene Wenger

Arsenal kick off their league campaign with a clash against Palace at Emirates Stadium on 16 August and Wenger has revealed that the trio are likely to miss out.

“I have given them a good break because I have experience of players who have been in the World Cup final. You need a rest,” the French manager said.

“Will they be ready? Mertesacker prepares well – but for the first game I don’t think they will be ready for 16 August.

“A post-World Cup year is always very difficult and short, the World Cup final was 13 July and the start of the Premier League is 16 August.

“From Fifa we are obliged to give four weeks holiday to the players, so I don’t know how all that works together. It looks impossible to me.

“A post-World Cup year is always very difficult for every big club because the players have been away.”

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