Arsenal cruised to a 5-0 victory in a pre-season friendly against MLS All-Stars last night.
Arsenal looked untroubled as they battered MLS All-Stars – a squad made up of some of the MLS’ most talented players, and managed Wayne Rooney. The game took place at Audi Field in Washington D.C., and the Gunners’ US-based fans were treated to goals from Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard, Jorginho, Gabriel Martinelli, and new boy Kai Havertz.
The game also marked the first appearances of Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber in Arsenal colours. Mikel Arteta will have been pleased with what he saw from his team and the result bodes well for the upcoming campaign.
There’s still plenty of work to be done in the transfer market this summer, and there’ll be tougher pre-season tests to come, but there was still plenty on display last night for Arsenal fans to get excited about.
Timber offers Arsenal a new dimension
Making his debut for the club, Timber gave a glimpse of what he can offer to Arsenal. Oleksandr Zinchenko played an inverted full-back role from the left flank last season. Timber showed he can produce something very similar from the opposite side.
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The 22-year-old Dutchman often got on the ball in the middle of the park and looked supremely comfortable in possession. His ability to invert gives Arteta an intriguing new tactical option to make use of.
Marquinhos full of confidence
Marquinhos spent the second half of last season on loan with Norwich. However, he only managed to show flashes of his ability in the Championship. Another loan move seems likely this summer, but Arteta will have been pleased to see the Brazilian playing with plenty of confidence last night.
The 20-year-old was aggressive and direct and produced a fine assist for Havertz’s goal.
Havertz gets goal boost
Plenty was made of Havertz’s finishing ability during his time at Chelsea. However, he showed a clinical touch against the MLS All-Stars as he slammed home a half-volley late on. Arteta will be hoping the goal helps the German to quickly settle into life at the Emirates Stadium.
The Spanish coach will be relying on Havertz to hit the ground running at Arsenal. Speaking about the 24-year-old after the game, Arteta said, “he gives us something different with his quality and his height for example where he can be a target man if we need to beat the press. He’s playing at the attacking midfield position for now but I’m sure throughout the season he’ll be used in different positions,” as quoted by football.london.