10 July 2017

Arsenal head on Australia and China tour with Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud – but unsettled fringe stars are missing

ARSENAL jetted off on their pre-season tour with a number of unsettled squad players missing the flight.

Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Carl Jenkinson and Wojciech Szczesny were all absent and are expected to be moved on in a busy summer squad overhaul for the Gunners.

Arsenal players are off on their 2017 pre-season tour
Getty Images
The club will be racking up the airmiles in the Europa League next season
Getty Images

Jack Wilshere and Brazilian defender Gabriel were also missing but they are recovering from injuries and would not have featured on the Australia trip.

David Ospina, who has been linked with a move away from north London, was on the flight.

Olivier Giroud has been hotly tipped to follow Wayne Rooney to Everton but the French striker was on the Arsenal flight to the other side of the world.

The France international will need to play regularly this coming season to make his side’s World Cup squad and that won’t happen with £52m new boy Alexandre Lacazette now on the scene.

Chile hero Alexis Sanchez has been given extra time off after the Confederations Cup along with German defender Shkodran Mustafi.

Youngsters Rob Holding, Calum Chambers (England) and Hector Bellerin (Spain) have been given an extended holiday after the Euro under-21 Championship.

Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey got cosy for the long flight
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went for relaxed footwear on tour

And in their places a handful of exciting talents have been promoted to try to impress Arsene Wenger.

Krystian Bielik, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Donyell Malen, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock were all bumped up to first-class status.

Danny Welbeck made the cut and he is looking forward to returning to Oz and a much-deserved injury-free season in north London.

Welbeck told Arsenal.com: “We played against the A-League All Stars and they had a few decent players who were up for the game. They made it difficult for us.

“I remember getting a couple of goals that day and the fans in the stadium were great.

Nacho Monreal and Mohamed Elneny enjoyed posing before the flight
Elneny will get a proper chance to play with Danny Welbeck now he is fit
Granit Xhaka got married during the summer break but his honeymoon period is over

“They made it a very good atmosphere for us and it’s something I’m really looking forward to experiencing again when I go back, and I know I’m going to enjoy the occasion.

“It’s a great city. The weather was great and the people were very welcoming too.

“There’s a lot of football fans over there and it was very nice to go on Bondi Beach and have a look around Sydney, and I’ve got fond memories of it. I can’t wait to go back.” 

New signing Alexandre Lacazette tries on his new Arsenal kit

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