Arsenal welcome back Germany World Cup winners Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski as a familiar face awaits them

Absent winger Theo Walcott was quick to tweet a picture of the four players together but they're all expected to miss the start of the season

With Arsenal ready to kick-start the season with a bang following their morale-boosting 3-0 Community Shield win over Manchester City, the club welcomed back three familiar faces on Monday who have enjoyed quite a summer.

Germany stars Mesut Özil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski arrived at the Gunners’ London Colney training base to report for duty after an extended holiday following their World Cup success in Brazil. With Arsene Wenger’s side impressing at Wembley on Sunday, the addition of the German trio will no doubt lift spirits even further at the Emirates.

While Özil was a mainstay in Joachim Löw’s side in Brazil, both Mertesacker and Podolski slipped out of the side as the tournament progressed, though they did still feature in the run to the final with the centre-back coming off the bench in the latter stages.

The three are expected to miss the Gunners opening Premier League match on Saturday evening when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates Stadium, although Wenger has hinted that Mertesacker could feature as he does not need too much preparation before returning to the starting line-up.

 

However, Calum Chambers’ impressive showings in the Emirates Cup and in the win over City could see Wenger refrain from throwing Mertesacker straight back into the first XI, as the former Southampton youngster has adapted to live in North London superbly since his £16m move last month.

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Another player set to be absent this weekend is Theo Walcott, who is due to step up his recovery from rupturing his cruciate ligament in his knee back in January at the end of this month. Walcott’s return to fitness has been slightly longer than expected, but the England winger appears to be in good spirits after he posted a picture on his Twitter account to signal the return of the World Cup winners.

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