Arsenal are set to make a short trip across town to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the reverse fixture of that infamous 2-2 draw at the Emirates earlier this season.
It seems that Arsenal could be in for some big squad surgery, well it is needed anyway. The likes of Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, Petr Cech, Carl Jenkinson, Nacho Monreal and Stephan Lichtsteiner will leave as free agents.
Then there are the likes of Mohamed Elneny, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil who have all been linked with moves away from the north London club.
A limited transfer budget this summer
Despite needing to heavily strengthen their squad this summer, Arsenal’s hierarchy will reportedly only allow £40million to spend this summer. In Premier League terms that is chump change, especially as the Gunners will receive major revenue via the Premier League television deal.
In yesterday’s article, I talked about Unai Emery getting the balance right in his selection choices for Europa League games. On Thursday night, the Spaniard got his team selection spot on, as the Gunners recorded a comfortable 3-0 win against Vorskla in Kiev.
The game was a good showcase for some of Arsenal’s youngsters to impress, as Emile Smith-Rowe and Joe Willock both got on the scoresheet for the Gunners in a comfortable victory.
On Thursday night, Arsenal recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Qarabag in the Europa League. It had the potential to be a tricky game, as the team from Azerbaijan had been dangerous on home soil in the competition of late.
However, Arsenal took the three points and the game was topped by the fact that youngster Matteo Guendouzi and Emile Smith Rowe both scored their first senior goals for the team.
A good platform for the youngsters
As much as Arsenal boss Unai Emery respects the Europa League, the Spaniard will also rotate his squad in the competition. At this stage of the competition, the Gunners can get away with, as the opposition are not the strongest in the world.
Arsenal’s under-21 team opened their Checkatrade Trophy campaign with a 3-0 win over Coventry on Wednesday night. The game was significant as the likes of Joe Willock, Emile Smith-Rowe and Eddie Nketiah scored the goals for the Gunners.
The trio have all been in and around the Gunners senior squad in the last 12 months. In fact, Nketiah burst onto the Arsenal first team last season. The youngster is once again part of the first team squad for this season.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery has brought seven youngsters into first-team training during the international break. With a number of the Gunners senior players away on international duties with their national teams, it seems the Spanish boss has used the break as a chance to view some of the clubs youngsters more closely.
Youngsters promoted to the senior squad
The seven youngsters promoted to the senior squad are Gedion Zelalem, Emile Smith Rowe, Charlie Gilmour, Nathan Tormey, Tolaji Bola, Julio Pleguezuelo and Robbie Burton.
Having impressed during this summer’s pre-season, Emile Smith Rowe has signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal.
The youngster scored a spectacular goal, his first for the first team, against Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup after just turning 18 last week. In 2017 he was a part of England’s U17 World Cup winning squad.
He said signing this deal has made him feel great. To get such an opportunity to showcase his talents at a club of Arsenal’s size is certainly a dream for many young players, one that has now come true for Smith Rowe. It’s now up to him to grasp this moment with both hands and work hard on building a successful career.
Pre-season friendlies don’t tend to mean all too much in the grand scheme of any given season, aside from an injury or two which could derail a player or team’s momentum. For the most part, that wound up being the case last night when Arsenal took on Atletico Madrid, with the English side falling to the Spaniards on penalties – although that’s not what people have been talking about.