Arsenal 1 Sevilla 2: Three things we learned from Emirates Cup 2017 clash
Arsenal won the 2017 Emirates Cup despite a 2-1 loss to Sevilla but there were some positives for the north London side
Oxlade-Chamberlain and the final ball
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was deployed at wing-back by Arsene Wenger on Sunday and the one thing that caught the eye from his performance was how much his final ball has improved from recent years.
The England midfielder provided a number of delightful crosses, one which set up Hector Bellerin for a guilt-edged chance in the first half. He was then heavily involved in Alexandre Lacazette’s equaliser in the second half after his cut-back landed at the Frenchman’s feet.
It seems as if The Ox has been at Arsenal for a lifetime but it should be remembered that he’s only 23 and that his best years are ahead of him.
He has one year to go on his contract with the Gunners and has been heavily linked with a transfer to Liverpool or Chelsea this summer.
It’s thought that his refusal to sign a new contract so far is down to a guarantees about regular playing time rather than money.
You get the feeling that most Arsenal fans would love to see him given a regular run in the first-team next season after he was limited to just 16 Premier League starts last term.
Elneny the central defender?
Mohamed Elneny was deployed in the centre of a three-man defence by Arsene Wenger on Sunday, with Laurent Koscielny to his right and Nacho Monreal to his left.
A central midfielder by trade, the Egypt international has been linked with a transfer to Turkish side Galatasaray this summer but he did pretty well at the back on Sunday.
Of course, he’s not going to be a first-choice option for Wenger next season, with Shkodran Mustafi having reported back to Arsenal to begin his pre-season preparations on Sunday following his involvement in Germany’s Confederations Cup campaign in Russia.
Defence still seems to be a problem area for Arsenal, but one thing is for sure, Wenger looks like he’s made his mind up to persevere with the three-at-the-back formation that served him so well in the tail-end of last season.
Monreal looked off the pace on Sunday. He failed to deal with the threat when Joaquin Correa gave Sevilla the lead in the 49th minute and was alarmingly casual in trying to close down Steven N’Zonzi before he curled in a brilliant second goal for the visitors in the 69th minute.
Lacazette finds the net
Deadly accuracy. That’s what Lacazette can bring to this Arsenal team if he is able to deliver in the Premier League next season.
Signed from Lyon for a club record £52m transfer fee this month, Arsenal fans will be hoping that the 26-year-old will be a big upgrade on the other striking options at The Emirates.
The France international netted his first goal in front of the fans at The Emirates on Sunday when he fired home the equaliser in the 62nd minute against Sevilla.
He needed no second invitation as he hit a first time effort low into the bottom-left corner. A ruthless streak in front of goal is something Arsenal have been criticised for lacking in the past. Perhaps he could be the man to bring it.