Bendtner adds to Wenger's woes

Arsenal face being without three key players when they start their Premier League campaign with the difficult trip to Liverpool in just over two weeks' time. Striker Nicklas Bendtner is definitely out with a groin injury, while both Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie do not return to training until next Thursday after featuring in the World Cup final for Spain and the Netherlands respectively.

Bendtner had a groin operation back in November but this failed to clear up the problem completely and he struggled for fitness while playing for Denmark in the World Cup last month. Now the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, has confirmed that the 22-year-old forward will miss the big kick-off.

"Bendtner will not be available for the start of the season," Wenger said. "Fabregas and Van Persie are due to come back on 5 August and from then on we will see how much build-up work is needed physically and as well how they have recovered mentally from the World Cup.

"They might be short for the first game [of the season] but I don't know, that will depend on the fitness work they have done during the holiday."

If both Bendtner and Van Persie are unavailable for the game at Anfield on 15 August, the onus will be on new signing Marouane Chamakh to lead the Arsenal attack if Wenger persists with the 4-3-3 formation he favoured last season. At least the free transfer from Bordeaux opened his Gunners account with a penalty in the 4-0 win over SC Neusiedl 1919 in Austria on Tuesday night. Theo Walcott, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Carlos Vela got the other goals.

However there were other injury problems to concern Wenger. Johan Djourou suffered a hamstring injury while Tomas Rosicky missed the match with a groin problem.

"Djourou has a small hamstring problem but it is not bad," Wenger added. "Rosicky had a small, small alert. He was supposed to play in the first half. He could have played. I didn't want to take the gamble."

Meanwhile, Wenger has sought to draw a line under Barcelona's protracted pursuit of Fabregas. "I am very happy with Cesc and we are all very happy at the club with Cesc," the manager said. "He is a very important player for us, he is our captain and we have worked very hard [for him] to be the future of our team and that is why we are always adamant about [not] letting him go."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?