Wenger: Arteta will be out for first game

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is without some key players for the first game of the season Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that midfielder Mikel Arteta will not play in the first game of the season against Aston Villa.

At a press conference, he named defender Per Mertesacker as captain.

Asked about the importance of winning the first game of the season he said: "We know with the Premier League nowadays that every game is important, and that a good start is vital, especially when you play at home. So we'll put all the effort in to win our first game."

Defender Thomas Vermaelen and full back Nacho Monreal are also both out with back injuries, but Wenger revealed that Vermaelen could soon be back to full fitness and is expected to make an appearance soon.