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

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy