PHOTO: Arsenal's 20-man squad leave for USA trip

Abou Diaby 2

A fine blend of youth and squad players - including Abou Diaby - will be tasked to take on New York Red Bulls on Sunday.

Arsenal's traveling squad has been announced as a mixture of youngsters and senior level Gunners jet out to the USA in order to take on a New York Red Bulls team featuring Thierry Henry and to engage in promotional activities in an attempt to capitalise on the interest in soccer that was generated by the US Men's National Team (USMNT).

Surprisingly, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been omitted from the roster despite returning to training today and featuring prominently on pictures taken by the club's official photographer that were then circulated through the social media channels.

Jack Wilshere will have received the news he had made the squad early, as the Englishman wrote a message on Instagram last night indicating that he was exciting to return to the Big Apple.

Wilshere, now 22, broke into the Arsenal seniors in the 2008-09 season but made an impact during pre-season tours in the summer of 2008 - performances like his creative display against Barnet, or his two-goal brace versus a Burgenland XI and Stuttgart were significant as it demonstrated to Wenger that the then teenager was ready to step-up.

  • Goalkeepers: Damien Martinez, Wojciech Szczesny
  • Defenders: Hector Bellerin, Kieran Gibbs, Isaac Hayden, Carl Jenkinson, Ignasi Miquel, Nacho Monreal
  • Midfielders: Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Abou Diaby, Mathieu Flamini, Kristoffer Olsson, Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky, Jon Toral, Jack Wilshere, Gedion Zelalem
  • Forward: Chuba Akpom

This summer, there is plenty of players capable of doing a Wilshere, as Hector Bellerin, Isaac Hayden, Ignasi Miguel, Jon Toral, Gedion Zelalem and Chuba Akpom could receive pitch-time on Saturday, July 26 in New York.

Theo Walcott is also a notable absentee, but his absence was to be expected, as explained in this article.

Wenger recently spoke of the importance of a pre-season schedule featuring a stop in the USA.

"Every American guy I have met knows Arsenal," he said recently.

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