A new era has dawned for Arsenal, we will enter the Premier League season with a new manager for the first time in over two decades.
Unai Emery has taken charge of the Emirates Stadium and swiftly rejuvenated the squad with five new signings, while also waving goodbye to established players like Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, both of whom left on free transfers.
Overall, Arsenal’s pre-season campaign was a positive one as the Gunners thrashed Paris Saint-Germain, edged Lazio in Sweden, beat Chelsea on penalties and held Atletico Madrid to a draw before losing on a shootout.
From those results we have identified one winner and one loser.
Winner: Emile Smith Rowe
Every pre-season there seems to be a young starlet who announces himself to Arsenal fans, catching the eye and providing a platform to build upon in the forthcoming campaign with the aim of fighting into the first-team squad.
This year it was the turn of Emile Smith Rowe, who made headlines with a stunning goal against Atletico Madrid in Singapore and impressed in the other games where he featured, potentially opening the path for regular football under Unai Emery.
Still just 18, the starlet has now outlined his plans for the forthcoming season as he seeks to earn opportunities in cup competitions.
“My long-term goal is to get in the first team permanently. But this season it’s to try to get as many minutes as I can in the Europa League and cups, and hopefully make my Premier League debut.”
Loser: Danny Welbeck
It has been a very strange summer for Danny Welbeck. Only returning to training this week following an extended break after the World Cup, Welbeck featured for just 11 minutes of football for England in Russia and may wonder if his career would have been better off staying at home.
In his absence, Welbeck has seen Alex Iwobi and Reiss Nelson awarded new contracts as well as witnessing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette craft an exciting partnership in attack – which left the former Manchester United man on the fringes.
After failing to earn a permanent exit, Football.London states he will remain in the squad fighting for a place but it is clear the 27-year-old is now a spare part in north London.