Pre-season matches are all about building fitness. But for Arsenal, they can serve as a stark reminder of what they need to do in the transfer window.
The Gunners lost 2-1 in the opening game of the Mind Series against London rivals Chelsea.
Whilst Arsenal had plenty of chances and should have tied the game had someone decided to plug in goal-line technology, the same problems from last season reared their ugly head.
Bernd Leno and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s confidence continued to be shot. Hector Bellerin was a fault for Tammy Abraham’s winning goals.
Rob Holding, as well, had a first-half to forget as he was caught out of position multiple times.
Defeat was an eye-opener for Mikel Arteta
The Sun described Arsenal’s performance as ‘hard’ to watch, and for many supporters, it’s hard to disagree.
Bright performances from the likes of Pablo Mari, Nicolas Pepe and Eddie Nketiah were something to savour, though.
However, with Arsenal shooting themselves in the foot and Thomas Partey going off injured in what could be a killer blow to the Gunners already next season, it was a pre-season friendly to forget.
Indeed, the game highlighted just how much Arteta has to do this summer. But the most glaring factor was just how many players featured for Arsenal who have been linked with a move.
When close to half of a matchday squad is built up of players eyeing for a transfer, you know you have a serious issue on your hands.
Indeed, Arteta did confirm that Granit Xhaka, who scored on the day, will be staying at Arsenal this summer. However, the Swiss midfielder remains a player most fans would be happy to see the back of this month.
Arsenal need to accelerate work in the transfer window
It has been a typical summer for Arsenal. The club signal their ambitions to rehaul the squad, and what has been achieved so far?
Numerous loan departures, including William Salbia for a third season in a row, and the potential departure of Matteo Guendouzi, yet event that was a deal that the Gunners botched given how cheap Marseille can sign the midfielder for.
There are just over four weeks of the window left. And with so many players allowed to leave, Arteta and Edu have to accelerate the process of allowing the likes of Bellerin and Willian to leave the club if they are to clear the rot from the team ahead of next season.
This summer promised to be one of the most important in the club’s modern history. Now, it’s beginning to look like one of the most underwhelming.