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eterans Kolo Toure, Gervinho and Salomon Kalou, but it may be Wilfried Bony who is mo
Arsenal’s pre-season campaign gets underway on Friday against Ligue 2 side Lens, but they will be without a number of key players after their exploits on the international stage this summer. Shabazz Napier Jersey . Its a well-trodden path for Gunners stars after major tournaments under Arsene Wenger, with the Frenchman eager to give his international players time off before the new season begins.After their 2014 World Cup success, Germany trio Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski were absent for the opening game of the season and with Arsenal well represented at the latter stages of this summers Euro 2016 and Copa America, it could be a similar story this time around. You consider the rest time because France had a long, long go [at Euro 2016] and I believe that they need four weeks holiday because they need to recover from that, Wenger told Arsenal Player. Arsenal have been preparing for the new season without a host of their international stars 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.If Wenger is true to his word it would rule at least five first-team regulars out of the Gunners pre-season preparations and possibly their season opener against Liverpool, which is live on Sky Sports on August 14.Here we take a look at the potential absentees…Olivier Giroud Giroud was part of the France squad that reached the Euro 2016 final Wenger has confirmed Giroud will not return for pre-season training until a week before the Premier League season starts.The France international has been granted four weeks of holiday after helping his national team reach the final of Euro 2016, and with Danny Welbeck injured it leaves the Gunners short of options up front.It is no secret Arsenal are on the hunt for a striker in the transfer market but, after missing out on Jamie Vardy, and so far coming up short in their reported pursuit of Napolis Gonzalo Higuain, it leaves Chuba Akpom as the clubs only fit recognised striker, although Theo Walcott could fill in up front if required.Laurent Koscielny Koscielny has been given four weeks off following his exploits at Euro 2016 Like Giroud, Koscielny was a key man in Frances run to the Euro 2016 final, and is crucial at the centre of Arsenals defence.Koscielnys importance at the heart of Wengers backline cannot be overstated, but he is also set for an extended break after the tournament in France.It will be left to Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Calum Chambers to fill the void left in Arsenals defence by the Frenchman during pre-season, whose participation in the Gunners season-opener with Liverpool appears to be in doubt.Alexis Sanchez Alexis Sanchez celebrates with the Copa America trophy ® and the Player of the Tournament award Rewind 12 months and Sanchezs participation in Arsenals first game of the season against West Ham was in question following Chiles 2015 Copa America success.Sanchez could only make the bench that day but was introduced for the final 23 minutes at the Emirates as Arsenal suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Slaven Bilics side.With Chile once again lifting the Copa America this summer, Sanchez, who scored 13 league goals last season, will likely be afforded similar time off to that of his French team-mates. Alexis Sanchez shows off his injuries (Copyright: Twitter @Alexis_Sanchez) His absence would be a huge blow for the Gunners, with the 27-year-old scoring three goals on his way to the Copa America Golden Ball.Mesut Ozil Ozil missed the start of the 2014 season after winning the World Cup with Germany Ozil was a key figure as Germany reached the last four at Euro 2016 and is no stranger to Wengers policy after major tournaments, after missing Arsenal opening game of the 2014/15 season following Germanys World Cup win.The 27-year-old was an influential figure for the Gunners in the league last term, laying on 19 assists.Aaron RamseyRamsey was the one of the driving forces behind Wales run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Aaron Ramsey has admitted he could miss the start of the Premier League season after helping Wales to the Euro 2016 semi-finals The Welshman scored once and grabbed four assists on his way to being named in the team of the tournament in France, but has already admitted he could miss the start of the new season.I am back on August 1 so I have a few weeks off but obviously it kicks off a couple of weeks afterwards, Ramsey said.I know [Arsene likes to give players a long rest] - a few years ago Germany won the World Cup and they came in just a few days before the first game of the season but they missed that. So he does like to give players a little break and Ill be getting the same treatment. I feel I need a few weeks off now.Other Absentees Alex Iwobi could feature for Nigeria at the Olympics The Olympic Games could also get in the way of Arsenals preparations for the new campaign with three members of Wengers squad set for Rio.New signing Takuma Asano will definitely be involved with Japan, while Serge Gnabry has been named in Germanys squad. Alex Iwobi could also be involved having been named in Nigerias provisional squad. New signing Takuma Asano is part of Japans squad for the Olympics The tournament runs from August 3-20 which potentially rules all three players out of Arsenals final pre-season preparations and their opening Premier League game at home to Liverpool.However, if Germany, Japan or Nigeria went all the way to the final then Gnabry, Asano or Iwobi would not be available until Arsenals third game of the season at Watford. Returning soon Jack Wilshere is back in pre-season training with Arsenal Jack Wilshere is already back in training following Englands disastrous Euro 2016 campaign, as is Joel Campbell, who was part of the Costa Rica side that suffered a group stage exit at the Copa America.Petr Cech and Hector Bellerin were also at Euro 2016 and with Czech Republic and Spain exiting the tournament in the group stage and last 16 respectively, they can be expected back in training very soon.New signing Granit Xhaka was another Arsenal player to leave Euro 2016 at the first knockout stage and Wenger will want to get him up to speed before Arsenal kick-off against Liverpool.David Ospina helped Colombia reach the semi-finals of the Copa America but is expected to be back before the Premier League campaign gets underway. Also See: Giroud could miss Arsenal start Napoli firm on £78.5m Higuain Drogba, Pirlo to face Arsenal Pre-season fixture guide Clyde Drexler Jersey . "He came up to me and said, I want to train," said Toronto coach Ryan Nelsen. The 26-year-old midfielder is expected to play Saturday night when Toronto hosts D.C. United, returning to his Major League Soccer squad with mixed feelings about the Americans World Cup run -- sad that it ended when it did but proud of his teams performance. Evan Turner Jersey . The agreement comes a little more than one week after the video game manufacturer agreed to a $40 million settlement in a similar but separate case, bringing the total payout planned for athletes to $60 million, said Steve Berman, an attorney for the plaintiffs, and the NCAA. .5 million. University officials released the term sheet signed by Harsin Wednesday, the day the former Broncos walk-on player and Boise native was named the successor to Chris Petersen, who left for Washington last week.MALABO, Equatorial Guinea - Didier Drogba and Samuel Etoo will be notable for their absence when the final group at the African Cup of Nations kicks off on Tuesday.First up at the Malabo Stadium is Guinea against the Ivory Coast, sans Drogba. The second Group D match will pit Mali against Cameroon, which is playing without Etoo.The Chelsea and Everton strikers are missing from the continental tournament for the first time in a decade, but both Ivory Coast and Cameroon remain among the favourites both to advance from the group and for the tournament overall.Etoo is a two-time African Cup champion, while Drogba has twice lost in the final.Taking over as the leader of Ivory Coast this time is Yaya Toure, who just matched Etoo by winning a fourth African player of the year award.The last time Ivory Coast was in the final, in 2012, the team lost to Zambia. The coach of Zambia at that time, Herve Renard, is now in charge of the Ivorians.Before I retire I really want to win something with my country, Toure said recently. I hope that Herve Renard will take us as faar as possible. Al-Farouq Aminu Jersey. Toure didnt fully take part in the national teams first two practices in Equatorial Guinea. But on Monday he was preparing for the match against Guinea in the teams final practice before Tuesdays game.At the moment, Im good. Its Just a case of be careful, Toure said. Ive been in a lot of games in the Premier League.Ivory Coasts other important players will be veterans Kolo Toure, Gervinho and Salomon Kalou, but it may be Wilfried Bony who is most likely to lead the way if the team gets on a winning run.For Cameroon, the key to success may come from one of the players who replaced Etoo up front. FC Porto striker Vincent Aboubakar is tall and quick, and has the natural qualities that make him very difficult for defenders to stop.Mali would also be considered one of the favourites for the title if not drawn in such a tough group.The Malians lost in the semifinals at the last two African Cups, and veteran midfielder Seydou Keita will be the one looking to inspire the rest of the team to get back there again this time. 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