Arsenal: Sanchez, Campbell, Chambers and Sanogo impress
New signings get their first run-out in the Emirates Cup - how did they fare?
Arsenal fans got their first look look at the new summer arrivals and saw what some existing signings can actually do in the Emirates Cup this weekend.
The now-traditional pre-season tournament in north London provided Gunners fans with an opportunity to run the rule over the likes of Alexis Sanchez and watch Joel Campbell in an Arsenal shirt for the first time in three years.
Arsene Wenger's new-look side started the tournament in fine style, thrashing Benfica 5-1 on Saturday. Calum Chambers started his first game for the Gunners and Yaya Sanogo, the ungainly French striker who failed to score last season, proved that goals are like buses as he opened his Arsenal account with four strikes.
However, the good vibes were diluted by defeat to Monaco on Sunday in a match that saw Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy make their first starts for the Gunners.
How did the key players fare?
Arsenal's main summer signing came on as a substitute against Benfica, generating the biggest cheer of the weekend, and started against Monaco. "Sanchez played well enough, looking muscular, imaginative and full of dangerous potential," says the Evening Standard. However he was "on the periphery" for the first half of the game against Monaco, says the Daily Telegraph and only made an impact when he moved to the middle.
The switch from wing to out-and-out attack could unsettle some fans, as it suggests Wenger is not decided on Sanchez's role in the team despite spending around £35m on the player. "The details of his performance – in his first Arsenal start – are less important than the fact of his shifting position. This will be one of the defining issues of Arsenal's season," says the Standard.
The 19-year-old who joined from Southampton this summer started both games and played as centre-back, much to the surprise of many. Despite the unexpected positional change he was "extremely assured" against Monaco says Bleacher Report, and cleaned up behind Laurent Koscielny on more than one occasion.
"It was an impressive performance from the youngster and... although he was not dominant aerially, we might have just witnessed the role for which Chambers can seriously challenge on a regular basis in the coming months and seasons."
An unused sub against Benfica, he played almost the entire game against Monaco and, according to The Independent "looked reliable" at right back. However, he is trying to fill a "large vacancy" now that Bacary Sagna has left and the paper notes that the Frenchman "didn't maraud forward as much as Sagna used to".
The most unexpected performance of the Emirates Cup came from the young striker who had a dismal first season at the Emirates in which he failed to score in 14 first team appearances. He went some way to making up for that with four goals against Benfica.
He "stole the show", says the Daily Mail, while Metro notes that although his finishing was "clinical" after a year without a goal "his celebrations need some work". He marked his hat-trick with a dance routine and tripped over a cable after his fourth.
Played up front with Sanogo against Benfica and also impressed against a below par Benfica side. "Campbell built on his eye-catching World Cup performances for Costa Rica to score one and assist another on his return to the side after a three year loan spell," says The Times. ·