Arsenal are almost ready to embark on their first full season under Mikel Arteta as they are set to begin their 2020/21 campaign with a trip to Fulham on Saturday [September 12].
In preparation for the upcoming campaign, the Gunners have played friendlies against MK Dons [a 4-1 win] and Aston Villa [a 3-2 loss] as well as facing Liverpool to win the Community Shield on penalties [after a 1-1 draw].
Three signings have also been made with Willian arriving on a free transfer following the expiration of his Chelsea contract this summer, Gabriel Magalhaes joining for £25million from Lille and Dani Ceballos returning on another loan spell from Real Madrid.
Here, football.london assess which players have benefited most and least from the pre-season.
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Mohamed Elneny: He may be a surprise entry and the return of Ceballos could hurt his chances of starting regularly but Mohamed Elneny slotted back into life in north London very well following his loan to Besiktas last season.
Reports linking the 28-year-old with a permanent move to the Turkish side weren’t infrequent during the 2019/20 campaign as he became one of their most reliable players. In the meantime, it was becoming the viewpoint that his time at Emirates Stadium was up, but in the little game time he’s had this summer, Elneny has had a positive impact on the Arsenal midfield.
Playing alongside Granit Xhaka against both MK Dons and Liverpool, he acted almost as a mirror for what the Swiss did was regularly last year under Arteta. On the ball, he appeared much more willing to push the side forward, he played a key role in beating oppositions’ presses and was fairly successful in winning possession back in midfield.
As Xhaka, David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have displayed, the impact they have off the pitch is just as…