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Where is everyone, Arsene? Arsenal return to pre-season training – but TWENTY first-team stars are absent

Date Posted,July 2, 2017

Twenty first-team stars were absent as Arsenal returned to pre-season training on Monday.

Just 13 members of the squad were expected back for the first day at London Colney due to injuries and international breaks.

Manager Arsene Wenger has given an extended break to the players who were involved in games for their countries over recent weeks.

It means that most of the big names were not due back for the first session.

Mesut Ozil, Petr Cech, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck were among those due to go under initial tests following their break.

Ozil is among the players who have returned to pre-season training (Photo: Stuart MacFarlane)
Welbeck has also returned on time (Photo: Arsenal FC via Getty)

New signing Sead Kolasinac – the Gunners’ only arrival so far this summer – also reported for duty.

Wenger put the players through a number of assessments on their fitness levels before undergoing a training ground session with the coaching staff later in the day.

Training won’t be taking place at London Colney for long, with the Gunners’ first pre-season game being in Australia against Sydney FC on July 13.

Giroud is among the players who have been given additional time off (Photo: EPA)
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It leaves a quick turnaround for the likes of Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Granit Xhaka, who have been granted additional time off.

Alexis Sanchez, who remains heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, will be given even longer off having only just completed his Confederations Cup campaign with Chile.

Sanchez will have an extended period off after the Confederations Cup final (Photo: 2017 Getty Images)

Players due at training on Monday

Mesut Ozil, Sead Kolasinac, Per Mertesacker, Kieran Gibbs, Petr Cech, Lucas Perez, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Emiliano Martinez, Francis Coquelin, Mathieu Debuchy, Chuba Akpom, Carl Jenkinson.

Players to return at later date

Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny, Wojciech Szczesny, David Ospina, Alexis Sanchez, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin, Joel Campbell, Gabriel (injured), Santi Cazorla (injured), Jack Wilshere (injured), Jeff Reine-Adelaide (injured).

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