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Mesut Ozil returns, youngster steps up – Things noticed from Arsenal’s friendly vs Aston Villa

Arsenal are gearing up for the return of the Premier League.

The Gunners are back in action next weekend as they take on newly-promoted Fulham in the first game of the 2020/21 season.

In preparation for that match, Mikel Arteta has been putting his team through their paces with a number of pre-season games, the latest of which saw Arsenal face Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

The game ended in a 3-2 defeat for Arsenal, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang carrying on from where he left off by bagging a brace.

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The game saw both Willian and Dani Ceballos make appearances, with Ceballos playing less than 24 hours after signing another season-long loan with the club.

But what other talking points came from the behind-closed-doors game?

Here are four things we noticed.

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Elneny up for the fight

Midfielder Mohamed Elneny spent last season on loan at Besiktas, but has been fully part of the Arsenal first-team during pre-season training.

He scored during the friendly match against MK Dons and earned praise from Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

And it seems that with Arsenal on the lookout for a defensive midfielder, Elneny is up for the fight should he stay at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners midfielder can be seen in a midfield tussle with Aston Villa man Douglas Luiz during the match.

Mo Elneny of Arsenal challenges Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa during a pre season friendly between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium.
(Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Saliba shows both sides

William Saliba was another player who spent last season on loan away from the Emirates Stadium.

After arriving at Arsenal last summer, the defender went back to former club Saint-Etienne on a temporary basis.

He will be looking to seal a spot in the starting eleven for the opening fixture against…