Aaron Ramsey fears he will not be fit for start of Arsenal’s season

• Ramsey requires extended break after exertions with Wales at Euro 2016
• Midfielder happy with his performances for country during run to semi-finals

Aaron Ramsey fears he will not be match fit for the beginning of the new Premier League season with Arsenal after his exertions at Euro 2016 for Wales. The midfielder, who has excelled in France, was suspended for his team’s 2-0 semi-final defeat against Portugal in Lyon on Wednesday night and he will now take three and a half weeks off.

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, normally likes to give his players a four-week break to recharge after a summer international tournament and Ramsey has been told to report back on 1 August. Arsenal kick off their campaign against Liverpool on 14 August, meaning that, with less than two weeks of pre-season training in his legs, Ramsey is unlikely to be ready.

Wenger has three other players in a similar situation – Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud of France and Germany’s Mesut Özil. They meet in Thursday night’s second semi-final in Marseille. The final is in Paris on Sunday.

“I am back on 1 August, so I have a few weeks off but, obviously, it kicks off a couple of weeks afterwards,” Ramsey said. “A few years ago, Germany won the World Cup and the German players came in just a few days before the first game of the season, but they missed that. He [Wenger] does like to give players a little break and I’ll be getting the same treatment. I feel I need a few weeks off now.”

Ramsey produced arguably the finest performance of his career in Wales’s 3-1 quarter-final win over Belgium – which set up their first ever semi-final appearance at a major tournament – and, despite the disappointment of his ban for a second yellow card, he can reflect on having taken his game to another level.

“Before the tournament, I was really keen to do well and stand up and be noticed,” Ramsey said. “I feel that I’ve done that. It helps playing in this team, as well, but I wanted to personally do my best and I think I have.”


David Hytner in Lyon

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