LONDON — England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss this summer’s European Championship after sustaining a new knee injury in training, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was set to return from the knee injury he sustained against Barcelona in February but Wenger said he had picked up a fresh injury in training on Monday that will rule him out for six to eight weeks.
“It’s very sad, because he was quite ready physically, and sharp in training,” Wenger said on Friday at his news conference.
The 22-year-old midfielder also sustained a knee injury shortly before the World Cup two years ago and was not able to play despite being part of Roy Hodgson’s squad.
Wenger said “there is no chance” he will recover in time for the Euros, which start next month in France, adding: “He’ll be back in the beginning of July.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain had been back in full training for more than a week and Wenger said he had been planning to play for the under-21s on Tuesday before sustaining his injury.
Like Jack Wilshere, who recently returned from a fractured ankle, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been a long-time favourite of Hodgson and had still been hoping to earn a place in the England squad for this summer.
While the new injury layoff will ensure that the midfielder is fresh for next season, Wenger said he would have preferred seeing him playing in France.
“It’s bad news. Because Alex was out for a while and he was not overloaded with games. And you want a guy who is 22 years of age to go the European Chapionship. So it’s very sad,” Wenger said. “He’s an impact player as well so he could have a big contribution to England’s success.”
Arsenal also lost Per Mertesacker for the last two games of the season after the German centre-back injured his hamstring in last weekend’s game against Norwich.
“The season is over for him,” Wenger said of Mertesacker, who has retired from internationals. “That means that Gabriel will come in for him.”
Wenger said everyone else in his squad should be available for Sunday’s Premier League game at Manchester City.