The first team Gunners kick-started their efforts to start gearing themselves for the new season ahead.
Most of the first team returned to training as the manager Arsene Wenger oversaw the preparations at London Colney. Wenger is looking to sharpen up his squad ahead of the pre-season tour of Singapore. The Gunners will take on a Singapore Select XI at the Singapore National Stadium on the 15th of this month. They will then face Premier League rivals, either Everton or Stoke City on July 18th as they look to win the Asia Trophy.
A few of the youngsters who did not get a chance ’til now with the senior side will be looking to impress Wenger in the coming weeks. The training and the Singapore tour is a big step for the likes of Wellington Silva, Dan Crowley, Yaya Sanogo and Chuba Akpom.
Silva is the Brazilian winger who joined the club amid fanfare in January 2010. But, he had to spend the last four years on loan in Spain with various clubs to sort out his passport issues. He now has a Spanish passport allowing him to play in the Barclays English Premier League.
Crowley is an exciting English youngster who was handed a professional contract a day after turning 17 in August 2014. He is already compared to Wilshere and is identified as one with a great future. The England national team coach Roy Hodgson also rates him highly and was seen speaking to Crowley at length in November 2013 when the senior England team was practicing for their friendly match against Germany.
Wenger could be looking to bolster his squad ahead of the new season, most notably in the striker division. But, he would also be looking to give a chance for Sanogo and Akpom to impress him.
Wilshere’s return to training is much earlier than expected. He missed a large part of the last season owing to injury troubles. Ahead of the new season, he would be looking to boost his fitness and put his troubles aside. Right back Mathieu Debuchy also trained alongside teammates. The Frenchman looks fully recovered from the serious shoulder injury he sustained in January. Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bellerin, Gabriel, Flamini and Mertesacker also went through their paces.
There was no sign of the latest signing Petr Cech. The goal keeper will return to training at the end of this week along with other international stars. Alexis Sanchez has been given an extended break following his exertions from Copa America and so has David Ospina.
It is going to be an interesting few weeks before the start of the season as Wenger looks to finalize the pieces of his jigsaw.