By Nick Teale
Johan Djourou says pre-season is "very important" for him after missing almost all of last season due to a knee injury.
The Swiss defender made his only appearance of last term as a substitute against Fulham on the final day of the campaign.
His absence had been caused by surgery required on a swollen knee last August but the defender has now fully recovered and is ready to force his way back into the Arsenal first-team.
"The knee is good," he told Arsenal.com at Barnet on Saturday. "This time last year it was different because I was feeling my knee. But this season is a new start for me.
"I had a hard season last time and now I feel good, I feel fresh so I am ready to go. I need a few more games but I feel good.
"We have many games to go [before the start of the season]. There are two matches in Austria so I want to get those under my belt as I haven't played that much. For me pre-season is very important."
The defender is also looking forward to this season's Emirates Cup and is excited to play against some of Europe's top sides.
"It is good to play at home in front of your supporters," he said. "We have good teams like AC Milan, Celtic and Olympique Lyonnais at the Emirates Cup this year. It is always a good competition to play in.
"We can enjoy the Emirates Cup in front of our fans before the start of the season. I think that every game in pre-season is very important for us."
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