by Lee Hurley
Arsenal got their pre-season campaign underway with a 4-0 win over a Singapore Select XI on Wednesday at lunchtime.
In what was typical pre-season fare in hot and humid conditions, a hattrick from Chuba Akpom, handed a start alongside fellow youngster Alex Iwobi, and another from Jack Wilshere meant that the Gunners were able to avoid meeting Stoke in the competition.
They will now play Everton in the ‘final’ on Sunday.
Taking to twitter after the game, young Hector, who was a second half substitute, tweeted to say
— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) July 15, 2015
Akpom signed a new contract with the club last season and will be hoping that he will feature more for the first team. With the departure of Lukas Podolski, Yaya Sanogo looking like he’s set for Ajax and Joel Campbell likely to follow him out the door, there will certainly be space for him in the squad.
Whether Wenger wants him to get regular playing time, of course, will determine what happens but the manager ruled out sending him out on loan.
Speaking after the match, Arsene said
“How much [will he play]? I don’t know but I just believe that it’s an encouragement to do well and to work even harder.
“He’s a young player and it can lift his confidence. The confidence in the dressing room that you sense from the other players is important as well and that can help him.
“Let’s not forget it’s a friendly. He’s a good talent but he has to work and show that in [the big] games.
“I sent him out on loan last year because I thought he needed that. This pre-season, during the season, I plan to keep him with us.”