Whilst the opposition may not be of the highest standard, the Arsenal faithful will be hoping that their team’s second goal in the 2-0 win over Sydney FC is a sign of things to come.
Alex Iwobi received the ball on the halfway line before deftly turning and marauding down the right wing before putting the ball on a plate for new £46.5 million signing Lacazette to slot home.
Iwobi was arguably the one shining light in an otherwise disappointing campaign last season and with the future of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain uncertain and Theo Walcott struggling to find the required fitness and consistency, the young Nigerian forward could be a key player for the Gunners this coming season.
Similarly, the 2017/2018 campaign looks set to be a career-defining season for the aforementioned Alexandre Lacazette. Much has been made of Arsene Wenger’s desire to sign the French forward and with the added pressure of a sizeable price tag, both Gunners and neutrals alike will have a keen eye on the player in order to see what’s had Wenger’s tongue wagging for the best part of four seasons.
Lacazette probably won’t score an easier goal than his first for the club but being in the right place at the right time has been a feature of the striker’s so far illustrious career and the willingness he showed to get into the box will no doubt please the Arsenal faithful.
In complete contrast to Lacazette’s virtual tap in, the opening goal scored by Per Mertesacker was one that many of the world’s elite strikers would be happy to call their own. The big German defender showed great improvisation with his back to goal, firing in a fabulous overhead kick before proclaiming after the game that he was inspired by the great German striker of yesteryear, Gerd Muller.
With Mertesacker revealing that he is to retire at the end of the year in order to take charge of Arsenal’s academy, it could well be the last goal that he scores for the club, but as a firm fans’ favourite and club captain, you’d be hard pushed to find anyone who wouldn’t want the gentle giant to add to his tally.
Much has been made about Arsenal’s activity in the transfer market (or lack of thus far). Arsenal are fifth-favourites with most Premier League betting sites at 11/1 to lift the title this season, which is perhaps a good indicator of where the club currently finds itself in the English pecking order and Wenger will surely need to improve the squad further to compete on all fronts.
The club have been linked with Leicester playmaker Riyad Mahrez for quite some time now but will reportedly have to battle it out with Roma if they want to acquire the Moroccan’s signature.
On the other hand, most fans will consider the summer to be a success if they can hang onto their best players. With Mesut Ozil confirming he would prefer to sign a new deal at the North London Club, the Gunners’ faithful will be hoping for something similar from star player Alexis Sanchez in order to mount a successful title challenge.
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