Arsenal could have a bit of a boost on some of their rivals at the start of the 2018/19 season, with many players from other big-six clubs still on international duty.
Last week, in a bit of a surprising sequence of events, England and Belgium made it to the World Cup semi-finals over the likes of Colombia and Brazil. What that means is another week at the tournament for two countries full of Premier League players.
The same is true of France, with Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Hugo Lloris and more in the squad. Monday’s edition of Sport writes that most of these players will get a three-week break after the World Cup, with only four weeks between the end of the competition and the start of the new Premier League season.
Meanwhile, Arsenal only have Danny Welbeck remaining in Russia. The rest of the squad have either already started pre-season, or they’ll join up with the team in the coming weeks.
That’s a four-week head-start on Arsenal’s rivals for the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette, not to mention new signings like Bernd Leno and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
By the time Kevin De Bruyne, Harry Kane and Eden Hazard return to their clubs, Arsenal’s first-team will hopefully already be in full flow. Let’s hope they make the advantage count.