In Arsenal’s first returning matches since the break of the Premier League for the World Cup, the club took part in the Dubai Super Cup, where they came out victorious against both Olympique Lyonnais and AC Milan.
Three first-half goals gave the Gunners the edge against Lyon, whereas a freekick from Martin Odegaard and a goal from Reiss Nelson coolly dispatched a strong Milan side.
This tournament served as an opportunity for players to shine and help make their case to be in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI as we head towards the resumption of the Premier League.
3 Arsenal players who impressed in Dubai
Here are three players who impressed in Dubai.
1. Karl Hein
Within the 180 minutes of football played, Karl Hein only conceded once. Despite Lyon offering little going forward, Hein looked comfortable when he was called upon and showed his quality throughout.
Hein also performed well in the penalty shootouts that came at the end of each match. Out of the ten penalties that were taken against him, the Estonian keeper only conceded four.
It was a successful outing for Arteta’s third choice in goal. He is unlikely to push his way into the squad anytime soon, but the experience was key for Hein after struggling on his senior debut against Brighton in the Carabao Cup.
He certainly took his opportunity.
2. Fabio Vieira
Fabio Vieira’s start to life in England has been a difficult one. It has been hard for the Portuguese midfielder to string a run of successful performances together – even in the Europa League.
However, he impressed out in Dubai. His display against Lyon was beautiful. He capped off a lovely Arsenal move with a strike from outside the box after assisting Eddie Nketiah to double the Gunners’ lead.
He was crucial to the success Arsenal achieved in the match: this is just what the fans would have wanted from the 22-year-old. Let’s just hope he can bring it to the Premier League.
3. Martin Odegaard
The Norwegian’s free-kick gave the north London side the lead against AC Milan, but it isn’t just his technical displays that have impressed.
Sandro Tonali, a midfielder for the Rossoneri, brought down Vieira with an elbow to his face. Arsenal’s captain rushed over to the defence of his teammate before shouting towards the Milan bench.
This was a clear display of a character which Arsenal need in the side: a leader to take charge when needed, and Odegaard may just be that.