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  1. ITV Report

Extra time off for Arsenal's Euro 2016 stars - Wenger

Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny went to the Euro 2016 final with France Photo: PA

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will give a number of his key players time off to "regenerate" before the new season - even if it limits his options for the opening Premier League game against Liverpool.

While the likes of Theo Walcott, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel, Francis Coquelin and even Jack Wilshere - just a couple of weeks after England's exit from Euro 2016 - have reported back to London Colney, Wenger is determined to afford extra holiday to those who have endured a busy summer schedule.

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey, German playmaker Mesut Ozil and French duo Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny have all been granted an additional break following a draining European Championship campaign.

Aaron Ramsey was suspended as Wales exited at the semi-final stage Credit: PA

It remains to be seen how long it will take Alexis Sanchez to recover from the ankle injury he sustained in helping Chile win the Copa America in the United States.

Wenger, though, insists he will not risk the long-term impact of those returning internationals over the course of the 2016/2017 campaign, the start of which is now only a matter of weeks away. The Gunners have five planned friendly fixtures before their competitive opener on August 14, at home against Liverpool, but the manager insisted a longer-term view is more important.

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.

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.

I believe the club benefits from experiences at the top level, and the mental experiences as well that they have gone through with such a huge pressure. Of course, in the longer term you benefit from that.

– Arsene Wenger