By Abigail Withey
Arsenal have confirmed the reason why key players such as Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny have been left out of the club’s Community Shield match against Chelsea.
When the Gunners’ team sheet for their clash against fellow Londoners and Premier League winners was announced on Sunday there were a number of noticeable absentees which would have understandably concerned fans.
Ozil and Sanchez, both 28, were two key players not named in Arsene Wenger’s squad and have been linked with a departure from the Emirates over the current transfer window.
The Gunners announced on their official website that both Ozil and Ramsey have been sidelined in order to avoid worsening their minor knocks which they picked up earlier in the week.
Defender Koscielny could have played against Chelsea but Wenger chose to leave him in the dug out as the French mainstay is due to be suspended for the two opening games of the Premier League against Leicester and Stoke City.
Sanchez only returned to training very recently after having a break following his efforts in the Confederations Cup with international club Chile, but was at the Emirates to support his teammates – who lifted the trophy after beating Chelsea on penalties.
The statement read: ‘Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey will not be risked, having picked up minor knocks in midweek, while Alexis and Shkodran Mustafi only returned to training recently after their exertions at this summer’s Confederations Cup.
Laurent Koscielny – who could have featured – has also been left out of the squad, as he is suspended for the first two games of the new Premier League season.’
The line-up for the opening Premier League game against Leicester on Friday will now be the real focus of Arsenal fans.
In other Arsenal news, their fans have taken to Twitter to give their predictions for Community Shield clash.