Five Arsenal players to watch in pre-season - Gnabry, Zelalem and more

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain

This pre-season could be one of the most important in Arsene Wenger's time in North London.

Arsenal’s pre-season campaign kicks-off against non-league side Boreham Wood next weekend as the Gunners prepare for a very important season.

Arsene Wenger will still be annoyed his side couldn’t make more of being top of the Premier League last season for longer than any of the club’s main domestic rivals.

He’ll also be determined that his side make more of their Champions League position, which is a competition which has remained elusive since Wenger first walked in at the club.

However, the FA Cup is definitely something to build on and there are a few players worth keeping an eye on during the pre-season schedule.

Theo Walcott

He’s unlikely to play but his recovery from a knee injury last season is important looking ahead to the Premier League season. Walcott injects real pace into Arsenal’s attack, which makes them difficult to handle on the counter attack. It’s important there are no slip-ups in his pre-season recovery.

Serge Gnabry

Gnabry is a youngster who flirted with the first team last season, playing particularly well in the UEFA Youth League competition. He’s being tipped to breakthrough in 2014 and needs a big pre-season, especially if Alexis Sanchez joins which would make him the fourth choice winger at the club.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Ox picked up an injury as England prepared for the World Cup but differently to Walcott, it’s not a long term problem. The Ox had a big impact in big games for the club last season, playing well in the Champions League game at Bayern Munich. Wenger has to get the right balance between giving him game time and holding him back to stop a repeat of that pre-World Cup problem.

Gedion Zelalem

Zelalem made a dramatic impact during pre-season last year and he’ll be looking to do the same again. His potential progression was hampered last season because of injury but he reads and understands the game well. It will speak volumes for the 17-year-old if he can have an impact alongside the other attacking midfielders at the club.

Yaya Sanogo

Sanogo didn’t have the first team impact he would have been hoping for last season and he will be challenged this summer. Olivier Giroud is the current number one striker and Joel Campbell is expected to have an impact, returning to the club. Sanogo needs a big pre-season to ensure he doesn’t get overlooked.

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