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.”