Picture: RC Lens.
Today the maiden batch of Arsenal’s senior squad members ventured onto the training pitches at London Colney for the first time this pre-season.
There were some familiar faces involved, including Per Mertesacker, Mathieu Debuchy, Gabriel, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Mathieu Flamini, Nacho Monreal, Yaya Sanogo, Francis Coquelin, Chuba Akpom and Hector Bellerin.
The latter two have been allocated new squad numbers for the 2015/16 campaign- 32 and 24 respectively, whilst Isaac Hayden and Gedion Zelalem, further young members of the senior squad, were also present.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of pre-season is that it allows us to gather an understanding as to which youngsters are closest to the senior squad. Today Dan Crowley, Alex Iwobi, Jon Toral, Wellington, Chris Willock all trained with the first-team squad along with recent recruit Jeff Reine-Adelaide, whose signing from Lens was confirmed yesterday. Those six players will be competing over the next few days for a place in the squad at the Premier League Asia Trophy, which gets underway next week.
Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is also back at London Colney and he and the rest of the players listed above will soon be joined by another batch of senior players, with Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Petr Cech all due to report to training soon.