It’ll be curious to see how Arsenal line up against Orlando City when the two sides face off at the Exploria Stadium tonight.
For all the positivity emanating from the Gunners camp there are also underlying concerns about the fitness of several squad members.
Emile Smith Rowe, Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu – three names all too familiar with the treatment room – have been absent from full training, Ben White missed the win over Everton with a ‘niggle’, new boy Marquinhos has sat out at least one session after a knock to the knee and fellow summer signing Fabio Vieira has started his preparations recovering from a foot injury suffered on international duty.
It’s far from ideal with only 16 days until the start of the new season.
Thankfully, Vieira – our €40 million arrival from Porto – is on the mend and while tonight’s match may come too soon, he’s clearly keen to show supporters what he can do.
“It’s been good, everyone has welcomed me and I’m ready to start this new challenge,” he told Arsenal.com.
“It’s a small injury I picked up one month ago with the national team but now I feel better and in a few days I’ll come back.
“I’m really excited, I can’t wait to get started and play with our supporters at Emirates Stadium. It’s an honour for me to be here.”
Given the size of Arsenal’s squad at the moment, there’s certainly no need to rush Vieira into action but you can understand his eagerness to make a quick impression.
He’s not the only one with a fitness update. At the launch of Arsenal’s new away kit, Smith Rowe touched on his fitness issues.
He told Hayters: “I picked up a little injury so I’m just trying to get my way back onto the training pitch with my teammates. It [pre-season] has been tough.
Pressed on whether he might feature against Orlando City or Chelsea, he continued: “I hope so, hopefully, I can. I’ve been training hard by myself so hopefully, I can get back with the team as soon as possible.”
From Portugal to Arsenal,
Straight down the birth canal,
I have never seen so many down votes for one of your posts. Get back in the game, Johnny. This is a non-negotiable.
I think the birth canal part was what did it for most people
Karmas a bitch ehh ? He’s the Upvote usurper. I fasted for this nemesis to befall him as he comes under my post and gets 60 more upvotes than me.
I’ll log on to my other five browsers and give him 5 more 🤬
Good luck to both of them, top players, could be crucial to our season!
Really hope Smith-Rowe is gonna keep improving and stay fit. I have a feeling he might be more of a cameo/supersub type player for us, and Martinelli and Saka will be the stars. Not talking him down, but the others are just so good.
Still think his best position could be the left 8. He got the eye for space and his runs from deep could be a fantastic weapon. A bit like Ramsey in that one season. But he’s faster and a far better dribbler than Aaron. Probably not as good defensively yet and that makes it hard to play him there but going forward I can absolutely see it.