4 key battles Arsenal players might be desperate to win in pre-season
Arsenal’s squad are back in pre-season training (Picture: Getty Images)As Arsenal begin pre-season, there’s plenty of selection headaches that Arsene Wenger will have to start to consider.The pre-season period should hopefully encourage healthy competition and bring out the best in all of our players.1) Gabriel Paulista vs Per MertesackerArsenal’s only January signing, Gabriel is going to be keen to earn a starting spot this season. He will have to break the excellent partnership of Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, but the 24-year-old is certainly capable of doing that.2) Jack Wilshere vs Santi Cazorla vs Aaron RamseyWhilst Arsene Wenger likes to play two of these, with one starting out wide – only one of this trio can start alongside Francis Coquelin. In the rare situation that all three players are fit, it’s going to be a close call. Can Wilshere finally realise his potential this season? Can Ramsey replicate his form from two years ago? Will Cazorla keep up his late season form? If all are fit it is going to be very close – but don’t underestimate the importance of a good showing in pre-season.The players is going to be keen to impress Arsene Wenger (Picture: Getty Images)3) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain vs Theo WalcottWalcott struggled to get into the starting eleven until the end of the season, where he found form as a striker. But with Alexis Sanchez set to miss the start of the season, Arsenal will need some pace on the wing. Walcott and Chamberlain will contend for this spot. Whilst Theo is more clinical at the moment, Chamberlain probably has more potential and he needs game time in order to fulfil this potential.4) Mathieu Debuchy vs Hector BellerinBellerin was excellent when filling in for the injured Debuchy – but will Wenger reinstate the Frenchman at right back as he opts for experience. Bellerin will be hungry to continue but so with Debuchy as he tries to earn a spot in France’s European squad next summer – perhaps his last major tournament.Competition is always good, but Wenger might have his hands full trying to keep all of the squad happy this season. He will have to rotate a lot better than he has in recent seasons. There are other battles, Welbeck vs. Giroud, Monreal vs. Gibbs – this healthy competition could be a catalyst to take us to the title.