Santi Cazorla is unlikely to be ready for the start of the new season as he steps up his comeback from the injuries that affected him last season.
The Spanish international suffered a knee ligament injury but has been plagued by Achilles tendon complications. It means Arsene Wenger has had to ease him back into action, and the boss admits it may take him a few weeks extra to get back to full fitness.
Cazorla played against Chivas on Sunday night, but Wenger says he’s not necesarily counting on him for the first few games.
“He is our technical security in midfield and we missed him for five or six months last season,” he said.
“At the moment he is not completely there on the fitness front. That’s why I took him off at half-time.
“He’s a bit behind the others physically but I think he will be alright, maybe not on August 15th, but at the end of August he should be alright.”
With Mesut Ozil sidelined due to his late arrival back from the European Championships, there is a space at the ‘number 10’ role which Cazorla would have fit perfectly, but if he’s spend more time getting fit, it remains to be seen how the Arsenal manager fills that particular gap.