Arsenal have promised to take a strong team on their tour of Asia, although the participation of some of the club’s biggest stars will depend on how far they progress with their respective countries at Euro 2012.
Speaking at a press conference revealing further details of the Gunners visit to Malaysia, Arsenal communications director Mark Gonnella confirmed that the likes of Robin van Persie and Lukas Podolski could feature in some capacity on July 24.
“We will bring our top players as the pre-season matches are a crucial part of our preparations for the new English Premier League season,” he told local reporters.
“Podolski’s presence here, however, depends on how far Germany progress in Euro 2012.
“He needs a three-week break after the Euros before he can play for us.”
Reflecting on the catalyst for a successive tour of the Far East, Gonnella continued:
“We are coming back for a second year running after the fantastic reception we received last year from the club’s wonderful fans and supporters just blew us away.
“Our intention is to bring our strongest possible squad as part of our pre-season preparations before we go to Beijing, Hong Kong and Nigeria.
“Our trip here last year was the catalyst for a truly momentous summer and we are looking forward to coming here again in July.”
Gonnella’s comments come just days after Ivan Gazidis outlined plans for greater communication between Arsenal and the Chinese football association during a webchat with the club’s fans in the country. Hinting that a relationship could grow through the exchange of coaching and training ideas, the club CEO also suggested that the Gunners could send Academy youngsters and the Women’s side for friendly matches int he future.
Having shunned international tours for over a decade under instruction from Arsene Wenger, it’s good to see the club finally recognising the importance of spreading the Arsenal brand on a global scale. It’s all the more important that these links continue to progress and prosper during the era of Financial Fair Play with huge sponsorship contracts and merchandise riches up for grabs.
Thanks to @MsianGooner for the link.