Iwobi, two Nigerians miss out of Arsenal squad for USA pre-season tour

Super Eagles star, Alex Iwobi, as well as a couple of his other Nigerian compatriots have not been included in the 29-man Arsenal squad which has flown out to the United States on Thursday where the club has been scheduled to play four friendly matches.

Iwobi is understandably missing as he is still on international duty with Nigeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt, where the Super Eagles reached the semi-finals following a 2-1 win over South Africa on Wednesday night.

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Along with Iwobi, though, U-23 forward Xavier Amaechi and U-18 goalkeeper, Arthur Okonkwo, have also missed out on the cut. Both were briefly part of the first team at different stages of the 2018/19 season.

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However, another rising Nigerian youngster, Bukayo Saka, has been included in the squad to the United States as well as young English midfielder of Nigerian descent, James Olayinka.

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Defenders, Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding, who missed the second half of the 2018/19 season with long-term injuries, were also among the travelling pack which includes three goalkeepers, 12 defenders, eight midfielders and six strikers.

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Arsenal squad:

Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Emiliano Martinez, Matt Macey

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Defenders: Hector Bellerin, Carl Jenkinson, Calum Chambers, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Konstantinos ‘Dinos’ Mavropanos, Zech Medley, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Dominic Thompson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles

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Midfielders: Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil, Joe Willock, James Olayinka, Robbie Burton, Emile Smith-Rowe, Henkrikh Mkhitaryan, Reiss Nelson

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Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka, Tyreece John-Jules

Club captain, Laurent Koscielny, is missing from the squad after refusing to travel as speculation he wants to leave Arsenal circulate.

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The former France international, who joined Arsenal in 2010 from Lorient, is said to have asked to be allowed to leave the club for free this summer.

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This has led Arsenal to release a statement to express their disappointment at Koscielny, with disciplinary proceedings expected to be taken against the 33-year-old.

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“We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions,” Arsenal wrote on its website about the situation.

The North London club added: “We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”

What are your thoughts on the Arsenal squad for the United States leg of its pre-season tour? Share your views with us in the comment section.

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