Five Arsenal players to watch out for in the upcoming season
The new Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has been spotted adopting a very different style from his predecessor, Arsene Wenger, in the team training sessions. He is much more vocal than the Frenchman and makes sure his players go all out. As of now, Arsenal have clinched two victories in their two pre-season friendly matches against weaker opponents.
The real challenge will come when Arsenal face Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in Singapore for the International Championship Cup later this month. However, with many of the World Cup stars missing from the squad for the Singapore tour, Arsenal would expect to face a second-choice team line-up by their opponents. Nonetheless, it is a great opportunity for the players to test themselves and for Emery to see who to keep in his side.
Arsenal's top priority is now to find a way to get back into the Champions League. The 46-year-old manager admitted that he is aiming to get his hands on the highly coveted Premier League trophy as well. He knows the pressure to perform and guide the team back into the top four is on his shoulders. He has signed quite a number of players in this transfer window and everyone would surely want to see the result of this spending.
While some of the World Cup stars are still on vacation, the rest of the squad have been put through stern training sessions in order to for them be in the best physical condition. Emery wants nothing but the best from his players. Now, with such a talented squad, can the Spaniard turn things around at The Emirates?
Listed below are five Arsenal players that everyone should absolutely look out for next season. They could well be the game changers for Emery's first campaign in England.
#5 Bernd Leno
The goalkeeper is expected to make his second appearance as an Arsenal player when his team travels to Singapore. Prior to travelling, the German has already represented his club in a closed-door pre-season match against Crawley Wood. In the 2017-18 season, the club looked particularly unstable at the back, with Petr Cech and David Ospina standing between the two posts. Unai Emery decided to bring in Leno at once, hoping to rectify the issue as soon as possible.
Leno has already started training with his new teammates at Colney. The 26-year-old was initially named in Germany's preliminary World Cup squad, but was dropped by Joachim Low thereafter. He had progressed through Stuttgart's youth academy and later joined Bayer Leverkusen. In his last season for the German club, Leno kept 12 clean sheets in 38 games. He was considered one of the best performers for his club and constantly put up consistent performances for them.
According to Squawka, the German has conceded fewer goals per match in comparison to Cech. Besides that, Leno has a strength that most Arsenal keepers consider as their weakness: he has been an excellent penalty saver in his career in Bundesliga.
Among the keepers in Bundesliga, Leno has managed to save the most number of spot kicks. It looks like saving penalties is one of his many fortes and given Leno's age, it is truly the time for him to shine in the Premier League.
Arsenal will open their PL campaign against title holders, Manchester City, next month. Although the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, and Gabriel Jesus are expected to miss out on the starting line-up, Leno could take the opportunity to prepare himself to face a strong team on the day.