For the first time since 1995, the Gunners finally head into pre-season with a manager who isn’t Arsene Wenger.
Spaniard Unai Emery has entered the Emirates Stadium, and made a host of signings to match his ambition for change. Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Bernd Leno and Lucas Torreira amongst the new names at the North London club.
Arsenal will be hoping for much better than their 6th placed Premier League finish last season, and fans will have real hopes of breaking back into the top four.
Many players at Arsenal last year underperformed, and Emery will be keeping a keen eye on them in pre-season to see how well they perform. Perhaps they were simply not playing for ex-manager Arsene Wenger, or perhaps they are just not Premier League quality.
One such player is Nigerian international Alex Iwobi. Arsenal’s tour of the USA to play in the International Champions Cup is a chance for Iwobi to show Emery what he is all about.
Alex Iwobi failed to impress in the entirety of last season and scored just three Premier League goals. He was part of the shambolic Arsenal performance which saw them exit the cup to Championship outfit Nottingham Forest.
Emery will want a fresh approach at the Emirates, and Alex Iwobi is perhaps a true sign of ‘Wenger era’ Arsenal football. He seems to lack composure in front of goal, and is not a natural born finisher. He will do plenty of running, but it looks like he just does not have the quality to play for one of the Premier Leagues top sides.
One thing is for sure, if he doesn’t impress Emery in pre-season it is surely time he is moved on. With Serie A club Lazio reportedly in for Iwobi to the rune of £22.5m, Emery cannot be blamed for considering selling the striker.