Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that midfield duo Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are both struggling for fitness ahead of the new Premier League season.
The Gunners already have concerns at the heart of their defence due to Per Mertesacker’s layoff but the London club are also set to be short on numbers in the boiler room for the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
Wilshere missed almost the entirety of last term through injury and has had a dreadful time of it in recent seasons due to recurring problems.
Despite playing for England in Euro 2016, the homegrown star is struggling to be fit and firing for the visit of Liverpool later this month.
“It’s a slight patella problem but I think he should be with us on tour on Thursday,” FourFourTwo quote Wenger as saying.
“I hope he will, yes.”
Cazorla missed the majority of the second half of last season through injury and is making slow recovery back to the first-team fold.
Despite the Spain international featuring for the Gunners in pre-season, Wenger has admitted that the former Malaga playmaker is unlikely to play a prominent role in the team’s early games of 2016-17.
“He is our technical security in midfield and we missed him for five or six months last season,” Wenger 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 14th, but at the end of August he should be alright.”