July 14, 2015 10:30:56 UK
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that star striker Alexis Sanchez will miss the start of the new season after helping Chile hosts to Copa America glory.
The 26-year-old frontman will not return to training until early August and as a result will not feature in the Community Shield against Manchester United, while he will also be absent when the Gunners open their Premier League campaign at home to West Ham.
But Wenger is convinced that giving Sanchez a rest is the right thing to do, telling reporters: “He’ll be back with us on August 3rd and it takes about three weeks to be competitive.
“It could take him a little bit less time (to get match fit), but he’ll miss our first game.”
Sanchez scored 25 goals in all competitions for Arsenal in his first season with the club, having joined from Barcelona just over a year ago.
The Chilean can be backed at 17.00 to be top goalscorer in the Premier League next season, with Chelsea’s Diego Costa 5.00 and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney 17.00.
Meanwhile, Gunners boss Wenger expects German playmaker Mesut Ozil to enjoy an important season in 2015/16, with the former Real Madrid man having shown some strong from in the second half of last season.
He added: “It’s a big season for him because he had a difficult start last year and in the second half of the season he was very important.
“There are many offensive players who have an important season in front of them this year, but I’m confident, because I think they have the quality.
“He has improved his defensive attitude, he works hard and offensively he is a top-class player.”
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