The business of Premier Leaguing gets under way in earnest next week, as Arsenal and a few other teams jet off around the world to, uh, build brand awareness? I guess? Meet the locals? Anyway, there’s friendlies all over the world now, with Arsenal heading to Singapore for a week to play Atletico Madrid (on Thursday) and PSG (Saturday).
And with traveling, of course, comes a traveling squad. A chance for the team, both new teammates and vets, to get together, hang out, and build the bonds that will hopefully serve them well as the season goes on. Today, Unai Emery announced who is going to Singapore, and today we got some further confirmation of who is not going:
Carl Jenkinson, Chuba Akpom, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Joel Campbell and Krystian Bielik have all been left out of Arsenal's tour squad.— James Benge (@jamesbenge) July 20, 2018
Given that the buying side of Arsenal’s transfer season is apparently over, this list of exclusions may actually also be a list of who is on the selling or loaning side of this summer’s business. Most of these names are fringe players right now, as much as we might want at least one of them not to be, and it makes sense that they’d be excluded from traveling with the club.
It would also thus make sense that, since they’re not traveling and thus not considered integral parts of Emery’s squad, they would be the answer to the question “who will Arsenal sell or loan this summer?” I mean, it’s obviously not a guarantee that all five will be gone, but it would seem that all five would not be stopped from exiting one way or another, if a suitable offer came in.
Speaking of suitable offers, this is also making the rounds today:
Arsenal are close to agreeing the £2m sale of Chuba Akpom to Belgian side Sint-Truiden. [@JackPittBrooke] #afc pic.twitter.com/MJU47Y3gOF— afcstuff (@afcstuff) July 20, 2018
Chuba never really made an impact at Arsenal, having been loaned every season since his debut in 2013. He spent last season at Sint-Truden, so they clearly see enough that they like in him to want to keep him, and presumably he likes it there too, so this deal makes a lot of sense.
Any of the five would benefit from regular playing time, and while it would be sad to see them go, I hope if they have to go, they can land somewhere awesome where they can develop into the player that, for whatever reason, they couldn’t be at Arsenal.