Arsenal pre-season 2021: Fixtures, key dates and will new signings be involved?

The Gunners have a busy summer lined up, with games against Rangers, Chelsea and Inter lined up ahead of the start of the 2021-22 campaign

Arsenal have returned for pre-season training, with Mikel Arteta’s side set to play their first friendly of the summer in Scotland on July 13.

The majority of the Gunners’ squad returned to London Colney on Wednesday to begin preparations for the 2021-22 season, which gets underway on August 13 when Arsenal kick off their Premier League campaign at newly promoted Brentford.

So, what are Arsenal’s plans for pre-season and who will be involved? Goal takes a look…

Returning to London Colney

The majority of Arsenal’s first-team squad returned for pre-season training on Wednesday, July 7.

They will spend the first couple of days going through medical and fitness checks before stepping up preparations for a training camp in Scotland.

The squad will travel to Scotland on Monday, July 12 and will spend five days north of the border, playing two games.

Arteta’s side will take on Hibernian in their first warm-up game of the summer on Tuesday, July 13 before playing Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday, July 17.

Who won’t be involved?

Arsenal will be without some key names during the early part of pre-season, with players who have been involved with their national teams over the summer given extra time off.

Bernd Leno, Grant Xhaka and Kieran Tierney are all currently away on holiday having been in action at Euro 2020, while Bukayo Saka will not return to Arsenal for some time yet due to his extended stay in the tournament with England.

The same goes for Lucas Torreira, who has only just started his time off having been in action for Uruguay at the Copa America this summer.

Will any new signings be present?

Nuno Tavares

Arsenal have yet to officially confirm any new signing, but Nuno Tavares is expected to be involved when the squad leaves for their training camp in Scotland.

The left-back flew in from Portugal on Friday to finalise his £7 million ($9.6m) move from Benfica.

Tavares has had to remain in quarantine due to Covid-19 regulations since arriving, but should be given the green light to link up with his new team-mates ahead of their first pre-season game of the summer.

Arsenal are also hopeful of soon completing a deal for Anderlecht midfielder Albert Lokonga and the 21-year-old could even be signed in time to play some part in the trip to Scotland if negotiations with the Belgium side are wrapped up swiftly.

Who will travel to Scotland?

Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are just two of Arsenal’s star names who are expected to play a full part in pre-season this summer.

Both will be involved in the training camp in Scotland, as will Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey, who will now be wearing the No.5 shirt for Arsenal, having swapped his squad number from No.18 over the summer.

Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Emile Smith Rowe, Pablo Mari, Willian, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson are also expected to be involved, as are Mohamed Elneny, Eddie Nketiah, Cedric Soares and Folarin Balogun.

Arteta will also give some youngsters from the Under-23s a chance to impress, such as Miguel Azeez and Omer Rekik.

What else have Arsenal got planned in pre-season?

After returning from their training camp in Scotland, Arteta’s squad will have a few days back in London before flying to the United States.

They will play two games during their stay in America, competing alongside Inter Milan, Everton and Millonarios in the Florida Cup.

Arteta’s side are due to take on Inter on Sunday, July 25 and they will then meet the winner of Everton or Millonarios on July 28.

The Mind Series

Arsenal will fly back from America immediately after their game on July 28 ahead of a three-game London tournament named the Mind Series.

The Gunners will host Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, August 1 before travelling to Tottenham in a north London derby on August 8, five days before the start of the new Premier League season.

Funds that are raised during the tournament will be split between Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, and three club’s respective foundations.

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