It may have felt like an eternity, but Arsenal will be back in action at the Emirates Stadium this weekend as they round off pre-season.
Arsene Wenger’s men will take on Sevilla and Benfica in this year’s Emirates Cup, which will see the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac make their home debuts.
As well as the usual stars on show, we’re likely to see a number of youngsters that have already impressed over the summer, including Reiss Nelson and Donyell Malen.
However, after announcing the 25-man squad that will be in with a chance of getting some minutes, Wenger left out a number of key first-team names.
You can’t pick up a newspaper without seeing an Arsenal story that somehow links to this man at the moment, and we still won’t have him back in a Gunners shirt.
Wenger confirmed earlier this week that the Chilean would be back in training this Sunday, but recent social media updates suggest otherwise.
Alexis pictured himself at home wrapped up with the comment “sick” – to perhaps cover his story if he didn’t appear at London Colney for his first session.
A player that divides opinion on all levels when placed on a football pitch, but for Arsenal’s number 10 the Emirates Cup is just too soon to return.
Wilshere picked up a nasty injury in the latter stages of the Premier League campaign, forcing him to a number of months on the sidelines (again).
Wenger faces a huge decision on whether to keep hold of the injury-prone midfielder this summer, with a permanent exit not so far away according to the papers.
If Gibbs felt he’d done enough last season to work his way back into the squad, then Wenger handed him a double hammer blow this week.
The left-back was made to train separately from the squad in training on Friday, as well as leaving him out of the Emirates Cup squad despite him being 100% fit.
It now looks like Gibbs will pack his bags this summer, with Wenger confirming there were talks to let go of the defender, who’s been at the club since 2004.
Finally a player that isn’t on the cusp of leaving the club! Mustafi is out of this weekend simply because he hasn’t even trained in an Arsenal shirt yet.
The former Sevilla man has just got back from celebrating Germany’s recent Confederations Cup triumph and is now facing a race to be fit for the new season.
Mustafi joins the likes of Gabriel, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers as defenders who are all doubts to be available for the opening game of the Premier League.
Where do we start with this guy? Well, an apology would be a pretty good place to start following the disgusting treatment he’s suffered recently.
After failing to reward him with appearances, leaving him out of the pre-season tour and taking his shirt number without him knowing, Lucas has his bags packed.
It won’t be long until a likely £13million move back to Deportivo is sorted, but I don’t exactly think he’ll be keeping hold of Wenger’s number.
Other Key Names
Joining the list of Emirates Cup absentees is Gabriel, Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy and Santi Cazorla who’ve all got problems of their own at the moment.
Jenkinson and Debuchy have both been left out of playing action as they complete permanent transfers away from the club this summer, although it’s looking like a difficult switch to pull off at the moment.
Gabriel is in the final stages of his recovery and will return to full training in the next couple of weeks, meaning Rob Holding is sure to get some more minutes.
We all know what Cazorla’s position is like at the moment and I don’t think there’s a single Gunners fan that doesn’t want to see the magician grace the Emirates ASAP!