Arsenal have officially landed in the United States as they begin their pre-season tour across the pond ahead of a campaign of growing expectations under manager Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners are set to clash with Everton on Sunday before coming to grips with MLS outfit Orlando City next Thursday in the run-up to their final US fixture against Premier League rivals Chelsea a week from tomorrow.
But despite the anticipation that has mounted this summer after Arsenal closed deals for Gabriel Jesus, Fábio Vieira, Marquinhos, and Matt Turner, and with the expected imminent finalizing of a move for Man City's Oleksandr Zinchenko just around the corner, questions were asked of Arteta given the nature of the squad that the Gunners boss took with him and his staff to the States.
In quotes provided by Football.London, Arteta shed light on his decisions ahead of tomorrow's match against the Toffees at M&T Bank Stadium, with the likes of surplus options Héctor Bellerín, Lucas Torreira, and Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson all present.
"We have made it practical so far. At the same time we have really, really good people - they have given everything when they play, when they don't play, when we are not using them and for me to send a different message to the group was to be very very inconsistent with what we demand."
"So they're in the group, or they're not. They're part of us, they're contracted to the club, we want the best out of them and at the moment they're with us, so we're going to treat them like this."
Though many Arsenal fans are firm in their belief that there are many in the squad that have no future at the Emirates Stadium moving forward, Arteta stressed that each will have a clean slate with a new season around the corner.
"The message is: this is a different season and everybody has a clean start. Show us what you can do on the pitch, how you're going to behave with your teammates, are you going to make the car faster - yes or no? If you do, you have a chance to be here."
With the likes of Reiss Nelson, Pablo Marí, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and Nicolas Pépé all potentially fighting for either a place in the team or putting their name in the shop window to garner a move away from north London, there are justifiable reasons why Arteta has left a cadre of academy players back in England while he looks to nail down the squad that can hopefully propel Arsenal back into the Champions League a year from now.
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