Jack Wilshere's four-week injury absence at the start of the season will hinder England more than Arsenal, according to former midfielder Jamie Redknapp. Wilshere suffered a hairline crack in his fibula during preseason training and is expected to be out of action for the next month with the problem.
Arsenal are expected to be without Wilshere for the Premier League opener against West Ham United, as well as the games against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Newcastle United.
The latest in a catalogue of injuries during Wilshere's career also has implications for England, who face San Marino and Switzerland in a European Championship qualifying double-header in September.
And Redknapp – formerly of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur – feels the absence of Wilshere for next month will damage England more than Arsenal because the London side have ample resources to cover for the 23-year-old.
"I think he's a bigger loss for England than for Arsenal to be honest," Redknapp, who won 17 England caps, told Talksport.
"For England, he's one of our better midfield players, but when you look at Arsenal's midfield, they've got [Santi] Cazorla, [Mesut] Ozil, [Aaron] Ramsey and they've also got [Francis] Coquelin now, who has done a great job.
"I think Jack would have played some games, but he wouldn't have played all of them. For England, after the two games he scored in the European qualifiers, he's very important for them.
"I think Arsene Wenger will obviously be hugely disappointed by the news, but I think there are one or two other players that he would have been more disappointed if they got injured."
"It's heartbreaking for him to get this injury now," he added. There are still question marks over him: How good can he be? Can he be the real deal? Can he get into the Arsenal team this year?
"On the back of scoring those England goals and having a good preseason for Arsenal, he would have been delighted, thinking: 'This is my year, now.'
"But it will be such a boost for Arsenal when he comes back in eight weeks. When everybody else starts to get a bit tired around Christmastime, suddenly you've got a young, fresh Jack Wilshere adding something to the team."