Arsenal give Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny month off

Olivier Giroud celebrates one of his two goals against Iceland
Image: Olivier Giroud will not return to pre-season until well into August

Arsene Wenger says his one fit senior centre-forward will not return for pre-season training until a week before Arsenal's Premier League opener.

The Gunners boss plans to give Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny four weeks' holiday to get over France's Euro 2016 final defeat to Portugal.

That timescale would mean they return to London Colney just seven days before Arsenal's season begins at home to Liverpool, live on Sky Sports on August 14.

And with Danny Welbeck a long-term absentee and Jamie Vardy snubbing a move to the Emirates, Wenger faces the prospect of beginning the season without an established striker unless he can bring in a new signing.

"You consider the rest time because France had a long, long go and I believe that they need four weeks' holiday because they need to recover from that," Wenger told Arsenal Player.

Laurent Koscielny played the final of Euro 2016 with a heavily-strapped knee
Image: Laurent Koscielny played the final of Euro 2016 with a heavily-strapped knee

"It takes you two or three weeks to regenerate... to recover completely, and they need to come back with hunger. That disappointment to lose a final, it takes some time to recover from that.

"I believe the club benefits from experiences at the top level, and the mental experiences as well that they have gone through with such a huge pressure. Of course, in the longer term you benefit from that."

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Alexis Sanchez shows off his injuries (Copyright: Twitter @Alexis_Sanchez)
Image: Alexis Sanchez shows off his Copa America injuries (Copyright: Twitter @Alexis_Sanchez)

Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are both on holiday after reaching the semi-finals in France, while Alexis Sanchez suffered a serious-looking ankle injury as he helped Chile retain the Copa America.

The absence of Giroud, Sanchez and Ozil for the start of the season would leave Wenger severely short of attacking options, although Theo Walcott did have a short spell in the centre-forward position last autumn.

Jack Wilshere is back in pre-season training with Arsenal
Image: Jack Wilshere is back in pre-season training with Arsenal

There is an ongoing interest in Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain, but the Argentina striker is keen on a move to Juventus, according to Sky in Italy.

Jack Wilshere, meanwhile, made his return to pre-season training on Friday at Arsenal's London Colney base.

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