Saturday, 7 July 2018

Return Dates for Ozil, Iwobi and Other Arsenal World Cup Players

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Arsenal players, some of the old and new ones, began to taste what life will look like under Unai Emery earlier this week. The newly appointed manager who came in to succeed Arsene Wenger took charge of his first training session on Monday with a number of players in attendance.

From the training pictures that surfaced and from what we expected, some faces were missing on that day and beyond. While the likes of Mustafi, Aubameyang, Ramsey were in attendance, others like Monreal, Ozil, Iwobi, Elneny were nowhere to be found.

It is the usual tradition for players who participate in international competitions during the season's break to resume later than those who didn't and that is the case with the absentees (not including Leno). The question now is "When will they join their colleagues for the new campaign?”

There has so far not been a definite conclusion on the arrival dates for each of these players. Nevertheless, those who bowed out of the World Cup at the group stage should show up earlier than the ones that made it to the knock out stages. According to an info we gathered from Football London, the first set (Iwobi, Ozil, Elneny, Joel Campbell) will be due for return on July 23, the same day the team will be flying out to Singapore for their pre-season tour of the Asian continent. Whether they will be made to travel with the team is unknown for now but as far as I am concerned, I do not think that is going to happen. While in Asia, Arsenal will face Atletico Madrid, our opponents in the 2018 Europa Cup semi-finals, and Emery's former club Paris Saint Germain on July 26 and 28 respectively. Other English team who will take part at this year's International Champions Cup include Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and LASTLY Spurs.

As for the World Cup round of 16 departures, Granit Xhaka, Nacho Monreal, Stephan Lichtsteiner and David Ospina, rumours have it that August 1, the day Arsenal will face Chelsea in a pre-season fixture in Dublin, is the day they will link up at London Colney. There is no chance these ones will feature in the last pre-season match which is against Sevilla but could be considered to play when Arsenal face Manchester City in their first Premier League game of the 2018/19 season.

The last Arsenal man standing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia is Danny Welbeck whose England side defeated Ospina's Colombia via a penalty shootout to progress to the quarter-final. His return date will be decided when he is done with his country. Did I hear you say Lucas Torreira? Calm down for he is not officially an Arsenal property yet.

Bernd Leno's case is a different one and has nothing to do with World Cup involvement. The reason for his absence can be seen here.
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