Arsene Wenger says his one fit senior centre-forward will not return for pre-season training until a week before Arsenal’s Premier League opener.
The Gunners boss plans to give Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny four weeks’ holiday to get over France’s Euro 2016 final defeat to Portugal.
That timescale would mean they return to London Colney just seven days before Arsenal’s season begins at home to Liverpool, live on Sky Sports on August 14.
And with Danny Welbeck a long-term absentee and Jamie Vardy snubbing a move to the Emirates, Wenger faces the prospect of beginning the season without an established striker unless he can bring in a new signing.
“You consider the rest time because France had a long, long go and I believe that they need four weeks’ holiday because they need to recover from that,” Wenger told Arsenal Player
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.”
Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are both on holiday after reaching the semi-finals in France, while Alexis Sanchez suffered a serious-looking ankle injuryas he helped Chile retain the Copa America.
The absence of Giroud, Sanchez and Ozil for the start of the season would leave Wenger severely short of attacking options, although Theo Walcott did have a short spell in the centre-forward position last autumn.