Arsenal v MLS All Stars: early team news



By Tony Attwood

Arsenal have announced the squad for the forthcoming games in America and the first thing that we might notice is that there is a whole raft of players missing including Emile Smith Rowe, Thomas Partey, Reiss Nelson, Nicolas Pepe, Cedric Soares, and Albert Sambi Lokonga

The key player in all this is Emile Smith Rowe, who is being given some time off having represented England at the under-21 European Championship this summer.  He played 66 minutes as the England u21s won the European Championship final against Spain.  That was his third start and sixth appearance of the tournament – and his final appearance for age related England teams as he will now be too old.

Also missing of course is Pablo Mari who on 4 May 2023, signed for Monza on a permanent deal after the club to which he had been on loan activated his release clause.  The Standard has said that Arsenal will receive £6m for the transfer.  The player cost £12million when he was signed from Brazilian side Flamengo in 2020, according to Sky Sports,

Thomas Partey is also missing from the squad.  Some reports say he is due to rejoin Arsenal next week having played in the 1-1 draw with Nurnberg last week, but other reports say that he has agreed to join a Saudi Arabian club, according to reports in the Middle East.

Reiss Nelson has reportedly signed a new contract but is staying in London because of a minor injury.  It is reported that Pepe and Lokonga also have injuries.  There seems to be no sign of anyone wanting to sign Pepe with possibly both the transfer fee and his wages being an issue.

TBR are saying that  Burnley want to sign Albert Sambi Lokonga permanently as they do not want to use one of their loan spots up on the player.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Cedric Soares is available for sale and it is possible that Fulham might have an interest in keeping him at the Cottage where he was on loan, although the journalist Ben Jacobs suggests that Fulham feel they don’t need the player.

On the other hand, on the way up are Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber, and of course Declan Rice who have all been included in the squad for America.

The first game in the United States is against the MLS All-Stars.  Some reports put this down as being “on Wednesday” but I think that is American time.  I have it listed as 1.30am Thursday, UK time with a second game at the more promising hour of 10pm BST.  The final game is against Barcelona (still in the United States) on 26 July is at the frankly ludicrous (from my English Midlands perspective) of 0330 BST.

Just to add to the speculation the Express is saying that “Arsenal are likely to deploy a front four this season, with Havertz playing in the No. 10 role behind Jesus as the lone striker – which worked well last year with Odegaard. From the flanks Saka and Martinelli will be a problem for the opposition, with former in particular ready to enter the conversation of elite wingers alongside the likes of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.”

That would then give us a team lined up like this


Ben White, Jurrien Timber, William Saliba, Oleksandr Zinchenko

Declan Rice, Maartin Odegaard

Kai Havertz,

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli

That could be right, especially given the way Gabriel Jesus went for an occasional wander further back last season.

That could imply that Havertz and Jesus could change positions sometimes while on other occasions Havertz could go for a wander for the main purpose of pulling the opposition out of the way while  Odegaard scores from 40 yards out.

Or something like that.


One Reply to “Arsenal v MLS All Stars: early team news”

  1. Is the line up because Timber need the work? Also can you do one of your squad make up articles. By my count Arsenal could have difficulty coming up with only 25 players. Especially since the once under 21s are now older and if we sell a Home Grown we might have to cut another International player.

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