Seven fit first-team regulars sit out Arsenal training

Arsene Wenger gave some indication as to where the Europa League sits in Arsenal's list of priorities as seven first-team regulars sat out training on Wednesday.

The Gunners welcome Bundesliga outfit Cologne to the Emirates Stadium tomorrow night as the reality of a first season without Champions League football since 1997/98 hits home.

Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka did not train with the matchday squad despite all being match fit.

Arsenal travel to face reigning Premier League champions Chelsea on Sunday so a much-changed side was always anticipated.

Alexis Sanchez did train and could be involved as Wenger aims to improve the Chilean's fitness.

Jack Wilshere also took part and may make his first Arsenal appearance in 383 days following last season's loan spell at Bournemouth.

Arsenal have not played in this competition since losing the 2000 UEFA Cup final to Galatasaray but it could be seen as a route back to the Champions League.

Manchester United won the Europa League last season to qualify for the Champions League and, with a battle for a top-four Premier League finish likely to be more competitive than ever, Wenger may eventually be tempted to look at the same path.


Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

2,000 turn out for Dublin All-Ireland celebrations in Malahide

Bob Geldof and W.B. Yeats lend their voices to Ireland's 2023 RWC bid

NFL star Tom Brady brands Trump’s protest comments 'divisive'

‘It’s just lifted everything!’: Derry footballer gets engaged after All-Ireland final draw


Today's Stories

Did board come up with the resources to keep hold of Kingston?

Monday morning Quarterback: Foolish fans let side down

Dramatic week ends in Galway cup glory

Keane ‘gut’ reaction to defeat

Lifestyle

Cork Folk Festival headliner Andy Irvine on the road again

Remembering Easter Rising hero Thomas Ashe 100 years on

Bea Johnson: Queen of Zero Waste

Inishturk island: Home to 60 people, several B&Bs and a lively summer seisiún

More From The Irish Examiner