Arsene Wenger admitted he is still ‘cautious’ about Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain’s return from another serious knee injury after their 1-1 draw with Lens while Arsenal fans are wondering what has happened to Gabriel.

The Ox was making his return after missing a large chunk of last season when he picked up a knee injury against Barcelona. Getting on the scoresheet with a delightful chip, Wenger said after the game about Alex, “I’m still a bit cautious.

“He’s fully recovered but I want him to go through four or five games first to be completely reassured. You could see that straight away, when he came on, he brought something to the team.

“Let’s hope he gets through the rest of pre-season.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain was delighted to get on the scoresheet with a chip he claims he’s been practising.  “It’s been a while since I played,” the England international said. “I definitely needed some minutes in me.

“Obviously I felt a little bit off the pace at times, but it was a good challenge for myself and also for all the players.

Meanwhile, Arsenal fans were pondering the absence of Gabriel from the squad that travelled to Lens. He has been included in the preliminary squad for the USA tour and has been training with the squad since they all returned for pre-season.

A short-term injury seemed to be the most likely explanation, or maybe even an illness, so it was no surprise to hear Wenger say, “I left Gabriel behind today because he has tonsillitis and is infected. He cannot travel.”

Arsenal preliminary USA squad:


Petr Cech, David Ospina, Emi Martinez.


Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy, Gabriel, Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker, Nacho Monreal, Krystian Bielik, Rob Holding.


Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Chris Willock, Jack Wilshere, Granit Xhaka, Gedion Zelalem.


Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi, Chuba Akpom, Joel Campbell.