Arsene Wenger has been given a helping hand from German national team coach Jeremy Low as he has excluded Arsenal duo Per Mertesacker and new signing Lukas Podolski from their countries upcoming friendly against Argentina.
With Arsenal’s new season set to start next weekend with a home tie against Sunderland on Saturday 18th August, Wenger is likely to be worried with the upcoming international friendlies being played at such a stupid time – 3 days before the kick-off of the Premier League.
But the Frenchman has been given a slight boost with the news that Podolski and Mertesacker have been excused, with the German coach allowing the pair to focus on club football.
Low told the German Football Association’s official website:
Three days after the international match in Frankfurt, the Premier League season starts in England, so it’s important for Per [Mertesacker], who was injured for a long time, and Lukas [Podolski], who is fighting for a regular place in the team, are able to prepare for the tasks ahead with their club.
While this comes as a massive boost for Wenger, a whole host of first team names will still depart for their respective matches around the world as the likes of Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny are in the French squad to face Uruguay, Netherlands international Robin van Persie will face team-mate and Belgium deputy Thomas Vermaelen, while Andrey Arshavin will link up with Capello for Russia’s friendly against Gervinho’s Ivory Coast.
Roy Hodgson has yet to name his squad for England’s friendly against Italy, but he may leave out a host of senior players which will hopefully include Theo Walcott, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will likely get the nod.
Many Gooners will be anxious with many top players reporting for duty and for good reason with the season opener so close. The last thing Arsenal need is an injury to a key player/s, so fingers crossed everything goes well and all the Gunners return injury free!