North London club Arsenal have started preparations for the 2022-23 season as they played a behind-closed-doors friendly against Ipswich at the club’s London Colney training ground. As expected, Eddie Nketiah gave coach Mikel Arteta many reasons to be happy.
The Gunners comfortably thrashed their opponents 5-1 as Eddie Nketiah scored a hat-trick wearing his new number 14 shirt which the club assigned to him after signing a new contract last month.
The Ghanaian prospect had a successful 2021/22 season, helping Mikel Arteta’s team qualify for European competition after finishing fifth in the Premier League standings.
The new number 14 on Saturday proved his value by directly contributing to four of the five goals scored against the League One team. Eddie Nketiah scored three goals in the opening period and, in addition, helped Albert-Mboyo Sambi Lokonga score the fourth goal, giving the hosts a four-goal lead in the first half.
The visitors later received their consolation goal when Sone Aluko assisted Arthur Okonkwo and the North Londoners’ Folarin Balogun scored the team’s fifth goal.
In the pre-season game, the Gunners also welcomed back their midfielder Thomas Partey, who hasn’t played since April 4’s 3-0 Premier League defeat at Crystal Palace.
Earlier today we beat Ipswich Town 5-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at London Colney 👇— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 2, 2022
The Gunners struggled to mount a significant push in his absence as they attempted to qualify for the Uefa Champions League once again.
In the pre-season game, the Black Stars player played for only 45 minutes as Arsenal destroyed Ipswich.
The first 45 minutes of the match included Hector Bellerin, Reiss Nelson, and Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe, who battled for playing time the previous season.
The Gunners will depart for a training camp in Germany on Monday after their game on Saturday and they will play Nurnberg in another pre-season encounter on Friday, July 8.
The club will later travel to the United States of America where they will play three preseason games against London rivals Chelsea, Everton, and Orlando City.
Arsenal will travel to Selhurst Stadium to take on Crystal Palace in a London derby as they kick off their 2022-23 Premier League season. The Gunners will be looking to exact revenge for the crushing loss they suffered during their previous visit to the same location.
Mikel Arteta and the club are really busy in the summer transfer window and have signed some players as well as renewed contracts. Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City is one of the latest players to join Arsenal and they are still pushing to sign Raphinha from Leeds United. However, the Brazilian is likely to join Spanish giants Barcelona or even rivals Chelsea.