Unai Emery has taken a 29-man squad with him as Arsenal flew out of Stanstead Airport this afternoon for our pre-season tour of the United States.
Arsenal’s latest signing, Gabriel Martinelli, is on the plane as the teenage attacker has been given a chance to impress in pre-season after completing a £6m move from Ituano earlier this month.
The 18-year-old is one of a number of Arsenal Young Guns who’ve been called up by Emery with the likes of Zech Medley, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Buyako Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith-Rowe among those also heading to American today.
However, the big news of the day is that skipper Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel with the squad as he tries to force a move away from the club this summer. Koscielny is keen to return to France and wants to be released from the final year of his contract – something Arsenal are refusing to do – so the situation is turning ugly.
Another player seemingly on his way out of Arsenal is Krystian Bielik as the versatile defender has also been left back in north London amid reports he’s a transfer target for AC Milan after being told he’s not in Emery’s plans.
The likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bernd Leno, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, Granit Xhaka and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all on the plane while Emi Martinez is in the squad after being promoted to No.2 goalkeeper ahead of the new season.
Alex Iwobi and Mo Elneny won’t take part in our pre-season tour due to their participation at the African Cup of Nations while Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira will probably link-up with the squad later after also taking part in international tournaments this summer.
Arsenal take on Colardo Rapids next Tuesday before friendlies against Fiorentina, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid take place across the USA.
Here is the confirmed squad and photos of the players heading off this afternoon: