Wales manager Chris Coleman has questioned Arsenal's handling of injured midfielder Aaron Ramsey. The 25-year-old produced a superb run of form to help lead his country during a shock run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, winning a place alongside compatriot Joe Allen in Uefa's official Team of the Tournament after scoring once and providing four assists.
Such a fairytale summer eventually ended with a 2-0 loss to eventual champions Portugal in Lyon, a match Ramsey sadly missed after collecting two yellow cards before the quarter-final amnesty. After a deserved break, he returned to pre-season training with the Gunners two weeks before their Premier League opener against Liverpool but hinted that he could miss the start of the new season after his exertions in France.
The former Cardiff City prodigy did subsequently start that enthralling 4-3 defeat, although such a decision was called into question after he picked up a hamstring injury and was replaced by Santi Cazorla just past the hour mark.
It was later revealed that Ramsey was expected to be sidelined for approximately three weeks – a lay-off which rules him out of Wales' opening 2018 World Cup qualifier against Moldova on 5 September – and Coleman suggests that the problem could potentially have been avoided.
"It's disappointing he's got an injury," he was quoted as saying by Reuters at a press conference that followed the unveiling of a 23-man squad also missing Crystal Palace's Jonny Williams, who has an ankle injury. "Could it have been prevented? Possibly, yes.
"I think we all expected him to (miss the start of the season), so I don't know what happened between and when he ended up on the pitch. I think, to a man, if you were looking at that, it was a bit of a surprise he started. I think Aaron said himself that he wasn't expecting to."
He added: "It was a long tournament for Aaron, after a long, hard season. So I don't know why he was treated differently. I think Arsenal have a certain way of doing things. A lot has been said about their injury list, they're doing the same things now as what they've always done – they're not going to change now. That's up to them, Aaron's Arsenal's player."
While Ramsey was deemed fit to play against Liverpool, centre-back Laurent Koscielny made his return to the starting XI during last weekend's goalless draw with defending champions Leicester City despite injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel that left Wenger to field Calum Chambers and new signing Rob Holding as his central defensive pairing. Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil featured as second-half substitutes at the King Power Stadium as they are eased back into action after their own European Championship exploits.
In terms of Arsenal's other fitness problems, Danny Welbeck was recently reported to be significantly ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery. Alex Iwobi is also set to be out for up to four weeks with a hip problem sustained against Liverpool, while Carl Jenkinson is targeting November to make his comeback from cruciate ligament damage suffered during a loan spell with West Ham United in January.