Arsenal will head off to the United States on Monday after drawing the first pre-season game against the French club Lens, thanks to a sublime chipped equaliser from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. There the Gunners will play two more matches against an MLS all-star side including the likes of Didier Drogba and David Villa before the second against Mexican side Chivas De Guadalajara.
Arsenal still have our on loan keeper Wojciech Szczesny in the Poland squad as well as the French international pair of Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud and the Germany play maker Mesut Ozil to look out for at Euro 2016, but after Jack Wilshere could not prevent England from crashing out with an abject display against Iceland yesterday, Aaron Ramsey is our only central midfielder left in the tournament.
Does Xhaka signing mean Ramsey’s days are numbered?
It’s such an amazing feeling to have a new signing tied up so early in the transfer window. Xhaka became the third most expensive player in Arsenal history after this week’s announcement. Having spent so much money to sign him, he is undoubtedly going to be first choice in the Gunners midfield next year. Keeping in mind how indispensable Ozil has become to the team, it practically leaves only one vacant space in the central midfield triangle.
Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque has overlooked Arsenal trio Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla for his provisional squad for the upcoming European Championships next month.
Many countries have named their provisional squads ahead of the upcoming Euro2016 tournament in France this summer. Spain have now released the names included on their list, and is does not feature a single Gunner.
It has been quite a while since Olivier Giroud got anything but a hefty slating in my Arsenal player ratings, but fair play to the big striker today as he scored a very good hat-trick and gave Arsenal the perfect send off to a season that once again flattered to deceive. Other notable performances came from the returning Santi Cazorla and our midfield rock Francis Coquelin but there really was only one choice for Man of the Match.
I am still trying to get my head around the fact that Arsenal managed once again to finish above Tottenham, even though our north London rivals seemed to have second place sewn up and were still right on the heels of the Premier League champions Leicester City just a couple of weeks ago.
Arsene Wenger clearly wants his Arsenal team to finish the season with a flourish, and a fluent and stylish one at that, because in this final match of the Premier League season the boss has packed his starting line-up with our most creative and entertaining players.
As well as the young Gunners that won promotion to the top division this week, there have been some senior Arsenal stars involved in the underage side this season, mainly used to get their fitness and form going after an injury kept them out of action for a long spell.