Could a late return to pre-season impact Arsenal’s start?

With the European Championships and Copa America heating up in the knockout stages, the start of the Premier League season is creeping up in the background.

It is now roughly only six weeks until Arsenal host Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates.

Ben White, Eddie Nketiah, Jurrien Timber, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Vieira have reportedly already started fitness training with Mikel Arteta, with the rest of the team that aren’t on international duty due back imminently.

For the players that are there, it’s a great chance to build fitness and work in smaller groups with the manager with six weeks to get up to speed ahead of the season.

Timber, for example, can fully recover from his knee injury from last season. While the likes of Smith Rowe and Vieira can learn the intricacies of the left central midfield role that Arteta demands.

However, while the international tournaments rumble on, many of Arsenal’s stars won’t return to the camp until a couple of weeks before the season starts.

Add to that the lack of the business so far, slowed down by the internationals, and there’s a good chance several in the squad won’t be fully up to speed by the time the season starts.

The fixtures before the first international break are usually all about the results rather than the performance, but this year it could be particularly tricky.

The first fixture of pre-season booked in so far is Bournemouth on July 24, kicking off the US tour.

The Gunners will also face Manchester United and Liverpool while in America.

When they return to London, Arsenal face Bayer Leverkusen and Lyon on August 7 and 11 respectively, giving six days rest before the opener.

The number of Arsenal players going far in the international tournaments is exciting and great experience for players looking to go deep in European and domestic competitions next season.

Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka have helped England reach the quarter-finals of the Euros, while William Saliba and France are also into the last eight after beating Leandro Trossard's Belgium.

But it will unfortunately leave Arsenal’s preparation short as they head into the new season. Let’s just hope it doesn’t slow them down too much.