Arsenal started their pre-season in Australia with a solid 2-0 win over Sydney FC, thanks to goals from Per Mertesacker and new signing, Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsenal started the game in a surprisingly sharp manner with youngsters, Reiss Nelson, Cohen Bramall and Joe Willock all putting in excellent performances – Nelson was arguably the ‘Man of the Match’. The Gunners had a slightly sloppy second-half but considering that Wenger made 11 changes, it’s quite understandable that the game lost some of its rhythm.
So here are the four things we learned from Arsenal’s first pre-season game.
Reiss Nelson has tremendous potential
Arguably the best player on the park, Reiss Nelson showed the pace, power and energy that delights the crowd. Playing as a wing-back, Nelson showed that he could well play a part in Wenger’s squad this upcoming season. He constantly got down the wing, linked up well, deliver a good final ball and even threatened to score on multiple occasions. At only 17-years-old, the sky is well and truly the limit.
Emiliano Martinez can be a capable backup to Petr Cech
Arsenal may lose David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny this summer. Contrary to popular belief, Wenger may not spend big on a new goalkeeper.
At 24-years-old, Martinez should not be making youthful mistakes and has show signs of maturity on a couple of occasions over the last year or so. Wenger seems to think he has the ability to play second-choice for the club next season, and if Ospina and Szczesny do leave, Martinez could be in for some serious game time in the cups and possibly Europa League.
Alexandre Lacazette means business
The newly signed Frenchman is not going to hang around or pay heed to any Lukaku versus Lacazette war on social media. He came on and did what he was expected to do – score goals. Lacazette came on late in the second-half but certainly showed the Arsenal fans a glimpse of what they could be in for in the future. It will take time for him to bed in but Lacazette showed glimpses of solid link up play, good pressing and soundly-timed runs. Have Arsenal found their 30-goal striker?
P.S : We are yet to see the him play with Ozil
Some senior players need a push
The team that started the game was being driven by the youngsters, orchestrated by Mesut Ozil, a possible sign of Arsenal’s future. Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott, however, looked very poor and quite frankly, looked like player’s that won’t be starting for Arsenal unless it’s in the Cups. Walcott had plenty of chances to score but as per usual, couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. Welbeck put in his usual effort up front but just lacked any substantial quality. If Arsenal were to sign Thomas Lemar, that’d surely be an end to Walcott’s chances in the first eleven and with Lacazette’s arrival, Welbeck looks likely to warm the bench.
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