The Arsenal squad are due to arrive in Asia next Monday, ready to participate in the Barclays Asian trophy with a game against the Singapore select XI team on the Wednesday followed by another game against either Stoke City of Everton to determine the winner, assuming that the Gunners win our first game of course.
Now while Arsenal will want and even expect to win the trophy, the main aims of this tour are to boost our global commercial profile and give the fans in Asia a chance to see their heroes live. More importantly in my opinion is the chance to get the players fit and ready for what could be a great season for the club. It also gives the players a chance to set down a marker and prove to Arsene Wenger that they should be in the first team and not just the squad.
So for the likes of Debuchy and Bellerin, Gibbs and Monreal, Chamberlain, Gnabry, Walcott, Welbeck, Gabriel, Wilshere and many more, this Asian tour is very important. I also think it is massive for Olivier Giroud, as an underwhelming showing from the Frenchman could well force Arsene Wenger into the transfer market for a new centre forward. So lots of Arsenal fans will be hoping the big man has a bit of a shocker but I think he could use it to prove his doubters wrong.
Who else do you think needs to really impress in this early pre-season period and which Arsenal stars will shine brightest in Singapore?