The 2018 International Champions Cup in Singapore promises many firsts, one of which will be Arsenal’s first two matches against top European sides with newly appointed Unai Emery at the helm. Taking place at the National Stadium on 26, 28 and 30 July, Arsenal will open the Singapore-leg of the tournament against UEFA Europa League winners Atlético de Madrid on 26 July, followed by Emery’s former club and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain on 28 July.
Since taking over the reigns at the Emirates Stadium, Emery has wasted no time boosting Arsenal’s squad, making five signings as of today, most of whom have defensive capabilities. The Spaniard’s first three signings were defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner, who are expected to help solidify Arsenal’s back line with their experience, and Bernd Leno, who is being groomed to succeed Petr Cech in due time.
The former Manager of the Year in France then acquired the services of defensive midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, whose signing has surprised many. Despite moving over from Ligue 2, Emery has made his intention clear about the 19-year-old; Guendouzi is expected to fight for a first team spot. The French teenager was also a summer target for Paris Saint-Germain, and is likely to have been on Emery’s radar for a while before Emery himself moved to Arsenal and convinced the teen to sign for the North Londoners.
Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Matteo Guendouzi are all expected to be on the flight to Singapore and make their Arsenal debut here. Arsenal’s squad in Singapore for the 2018 International Champions Cup also include goalkeepers Petr Cech; defenders Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers; midfielders Mohamed Elneny, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Matteo Guendouzi; and forwards Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi. The full team list will be revealed at a later date.
Revealing his goal for Arsenal when they arrive in Singapore and ahead of the new season, Emery said, “I want to win. The performances, every day, for work on attacking, defending, is to be competitive each match. My first idea is getting better day-to-day with our players and working hard with our players, to transmit my ideas. The system for me isn’t the most important. For me, the most important thing is to be and to create one competitive team.”
Arsenal squad list *accurate as of 17 July 2018; subject to change
Petr Cech, Bernd Leno, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Mohamed Elneny, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Matteo Guendouzi, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi
Fixtures in Singapore
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Atlético de Madrid vs Arsenal
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Arsenal vs Paris Saint-Germain
Monday, July 30, 2018
Paris Saint-Germain vs Atlético de Madrid – National Stadium, Singapore