Arsenal could start the 2016-17 season without five important first-team players in their line-up against Liverpool next month with Alexis Sanchez now a major doubt with an ankle injury, as per reports from the Mirror.
The Chilean international suffered a bad injury during the early stages of last month’s Copa America final and, after nursing the injury nearly to the end of the match, he was finally forced off in extra-time as Chile went on without him to beat Argentina in a penalty shoot-out.
The 27-year-old posted on his social media account his gruesome-looking ankle that was severely swollen and bruised, although since then he’s been receiving treatment on the problem while enjoying his holidays.
The Gunners have been monitoring the Chilean’s situation and will make further assessments as to his fitness when Alexis returns to pre-season training later this month. Nevertheless, the Mirror claims the club fears Sanchez will be forced to miss the match against Liverpool.
If the reports from the Mirror are to be believed, then we’re in real trouble Arsenal’s number one choice as striker, Olivier Giroud, is certain to miss out as he isn’t due back for pre-season training until August 8 just six days before the season opener.
Due to the fact that Welbeck will be out for another six or seven months with a knee injury sustained at the Etihad Stadium, Wenger will be left with little option but to choose between Chuba Akpom and Theo Walcott as the main main upfront for when Arsenal host the Merseysiders at the Emirates on August 14 on the opening weekend.
Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscienly are also set to miss the game as the duo return back last for pre-season training late, having been granted a lengthy break following their exploits at the just concluded European Championships.
Wales’s superstar Aaron Ramsey is another player that’ll be struggling for full fitness, as he’s not due to begin his pre-season preparations until early August, meaning he’ll have less than two weeks to prepare for Liverpool.
Wenger regretted the idea in rushing Sanchez back too soon after the Copa America last summer, so I highly doubt he’ll make that same mistake again this year.
Therefore, Arsenal are likely to be without five important first team players against Liverpool: Sanchez, Ramsey, Giroud, Koscielny and Ozil.
This is definitely not an ideal way to start an important season. Below are Arsenal’s fixtures for next coming season: