Wenger protects Giroud and Podolski
Arsenal duo Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski could miss the start of the season as manager Arsene Wenger plans to stagger their introduction to the Premier League.
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Following France striker Giroud and Germany forward Podolski's involvement in Euro 2012, the Gunners' pair of summer signings had been given an extended break.
Wenger, who is already without Jack Wilshere until October, will also resist the temptation to include the pair in pre-season.
Instead, £12million man Giroud and Podolski, a £10.9m signing from Cologne, will be given time to acclimatise in the Premier League.
"Podolski and Giroud may take longer than expected," Wenger said in the Daily Mail before returning from a pre-season tour in Hong Kong.
"I cannot play them in pre-season, so I will ease them in the Premier League."