Thursday, May 26, 2022

Push for first-team places commences with pre-season set to get underway

Tomorrow morning sees the preparations for another campaign officially get underway with the first batch of players due to return to London Colney for pre-season training. Three youngsters in particular will have a spring in their step having signed new contracts with the club over the summer, with winger Anthony Jeffrey and centre-back Zach Fagan signing their first professional deals, whilst striker Zak Ansah has extended his contract by another year.

Much has changed since the youngsters last assembled at the training ground in May, with a whole host of players being released and some especially talented first-year scholars being brought in from elsewhere. For all of the players still at the club, however, the ultimate aim of earning a place in the first-team squad will remain paramount.

For goalkeeper Damian Martinez that dream may just be about to become a reality. The Argentinian goalkeeper has been on Arsenal’s books for over two years but, with Vito Mannone having completed his transfer to Sunderland today, Martinez’s chances of a promotion have increased greatly. Even in the event that another goalkeeper, as seems likely, is brought in from elsewhere, Martinez would still stand a good chance of becoming the club’s third choice custodian as it is highly unlikely that Lukasz Fabianski, at the age of 28, would want to stay around in such circumstances.

Who else could join Martinez in the senior set-up by the end of next month? The Asia Tour should provide us with some clues in that regard, but centre-back Ignasi Miquel will be hoping to finally make the step up to the senior set-up following the release of Sebastien Squillaci, whilst Serge Gnabry will have aspirations of adding to his tally of four first-team appearances, particularly if Ryo heads out on loan once again.

There are also, it should be remembered, several players under the age of 21 who are already part of Arsene Wenger’s squad and will be seeking to become more heavily involved in the forthcoming campaign. One player who falls into that category is Yaya Sanogo, whose signing from Auxerre was officially confirmed this week. The striker has impressed greatly at the on-going U20 World Cup and, although his participation in the competition is likely to deny him the opportunity to travel on the Asia Tour, the 20 year old should feature in the Emirates Cup, where we will be able to make an initial assessment on his credentials.

Carl Jenkinson, meanwhile, will be seeking to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Bacary Sagna’s future as he aims to make the right-back slot his own, which may have implications for Hector Bellerin. However, Francis Coquelin,who is now officially a senior player as far as Premier League rules are concerned, may be much less certain about what the future holds amidst rumours that he could be sold this summer.

Tomorrow will represent a fresh chance for many and another opportunity to impress, but for each individual the long-term objective remains the same as ever.

Jeorge Bird is the author of  Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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I hope Eisfeld is used more in the first team this season. Needs a chance to prove his worth.

Fed Up

Eisfeld is not all that great tbh i saw him play numerous times for the reserves/nextgen. Other than his goalscoring abiliy he doesnt have much of an influence in games. But funnily he was quite good in his few appearances for the first team so we never know


As do I as he was brilliant against Reading.


shouldn’t this be a blog??
i mean, there is no news here, you are writing the implications of existing factual knowledge…
isn’t that, by definition, a blog??

Merlin's Panini

there is a blog. And this is its news page, hence it being Arseblog News and not just Arseblog.

Glasgow Gunner

This all positive stuff. If any prove to be genuinely good enough then i’m sure their chance will come.


I think the Ox has got a lot to prove this season as well. I’m not saying I doubt his talent but he’ll be 20 in August so it’s time for him to step up and become a little more consistent.

Glasgow Gunner

Agreed – Hence, the vote of confidence. Seriously though, I do think the Ox will make it.

Harish P

I look forward to seeing if Ignasi has shown good signs of improvement. He needs a good opportunity to step up after that crazy Reading cup game.

If the rumours of Gervinho going back to France happens then this is a particularly great opportunity for Gnabry to step in more. I hope to see him on the tour for sure.


so AW has a large vat of money spend on critical summer signings and so far we have an injury prone French boy on a Bosman transfer. Looking promising for the new season then


Listen, Goonerjoe, you’re not allowed to say anything negative on this site – even if it 100% fucking obvious and true. See how many ‘thumbs down’ you’re getting?

Hear’s what you should write: ‘Arsene Wenger is a complete genius, even if he has not won anything for eight years and most of his recent signings have been a pile of crap.”

Then they’ll love you here.

Merlin's Panini

You just need a big hug, don’t you?


‘Big’ hug


I know it’s harsh to judge on one game, and especially a young goalkeeper, but I didn’t like what I saw of Martinez against reading. But, like I said, that’s harsh so best of luck to him next time he gets a chance and hope he proves me wrong


wenger should pls promote my two German prodigies.. Esfied nd gnabry. those are d real deals.


Blogs, what do you think about Emmanuel Frimpongs chances of making it in the team? In my opinion he has performed more then good when he has played (even though not that often) and may be that big physical cdm we have been longing for.

Merlin's Panini

Let’s see how he gets on in preseason. I heard he wasn’t much cop at Wolves or Fulham on loan, I might be wrong, although I always liked him playing for us.
He seems a bit too wild sometimes, like when he got sent off against Liverpool, but there is definitely a good player in there. He’s powerful, quick, good on the ball, strong in the tackle, wears his heart on his sleeve, but maybe just a bit too mad. We’ll see.

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