Members of Arsenal’s first team squad were welcomed back to London Colney by Unai Emery on Friday as the Gunners kicked off their pre-season preparations ahead of a first friendly of the summer against MLS franchise Colorado Rapids.
Big names including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Bernd Leno were pictured alongside new boy Gabriel Martinelli and Academy graduate Bukayo Saka as the Spaniard and his coaching staff, including Freddie Ljungberg, held a first squad meeting since the Europa League final defeat in May.
Interestingly, Martinelli is seen wearing number 96 which would suggest we’ve not yet made our mind up as to whether he’ll be counted as a first team member or not.
— Unai Emery (@UnaiEmery_) July 6, 2019
Our squad will fly to the United States on Thursday and will be based in Los Angeles, where it’s expected they will launch the new away kit, before travelling to Denver for our match with the Rapids the following Monday.
Stateside fixtures will also include tough tests against Bayern Munich, Fiorentina and Real Madrid.
This time last year, we fielded a strong side against Boreham Wood but with many players still on holiday due to international commitments, it’s been decided that our neighbours will face a team made up of under-23s and under-18s, coached by Steve Bould. That game takes place today at 3pm.
FULL LIST OF ARSENAL PRE-SEASON FRIENDLIES 2019
July 15th – Colorado Rapids v Arsenal
July 17th – Arsenal v Bayern Munich (International Champions Cup)
July 20th – Fiorentina v Arsenal (International Champions Cup)
July 23rd – Arsenal v Real Madrid (International Champions Cup)
July 28th – Arsenal v Lyon (Emirates Cup)
July 31st – Angers v Arsenal
August 4th – Barcelona v Arsenal (Joan Gamper Trophy)