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4 Arsenal stars set to miss out as COVID forces pre-season tour cancellation

Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror

Arsenal's pre-season tour to the USA has been cancelled due to a number of positive COVID-19 cases at the club.

Mikel Arteta's side were due to take part in the Florida Cup, along with Inter Milan, Everton and Millonarios.

This development will have disrupted plans of the Arsenal boss to determine which players were at their required level and those that were not yet up to full speed ahead of the new Premier League season.

Arsenal are still scheduled to face Chelsea on August 1 and Tottenham Hotspur on August 8, having already takem on Hibernian and Rangers.

Mirror Sport have taken a look at the players within the squad who are set to miss out after their trip to America was shelved at the last minute...

Albert Sambi Lokonga
Lokonga will wear the No 23 shirt for Arsenal next season (Image: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Albert Sambi Lokonga was officially unveiled as an Arsenal player yesterday, arriving at the club for a reported fee of £17.2million from Anderlecht.

As a new signing, the first thing the 21-year-old would have hoped to do is make an early impression on his teammates.

Lokonga will now be forced to wait a little longer to make his first appearance for the club as he attempts to settle in to his new surroundings.

Nuno Tavares

After getting off the mark for Arsenal against Rangers last Saturday, Nuno Tavares would have been desperate to maintain his strong start to life as a Gunner.

The Portuguese full-back will be competing with Kieran Tierney for a first-team slot this season and will need to make a strong case for his selection in pre-season matches.

A failure to impress will likely result in only one outcome, so it is vital that the former Benfica defender gives Arteta food for though ahead of the new campaign.

Folarin Balogun

Which Arsenal player has caught your eye during pre-season so far? Comment below.
Balogun will be hoping to feature for the Gunners' first-team this campaign

As transfer rumours linking Tammy Abraham to the Emirates Stadium continue to build, Balogun will be keen to issue a reminder of his quality to Arteta.

Arteta recently confirmed that the 20-year-old will form part of the Gunners' first-team squad from now on, but the young forward must now prove why the Gunners' boss made the right decision and does not need to look elsewhere.

Balogun played 45 minutes in both of Arsenal's opening two pre-season matches and could have done with as much game time as possible, in order to stake his claim for a regular place in the side.


The Brazilian winger has come under criticism in recent weeks for appearing out of shape ahead of the new Premier League season.

A picture of Willian began to circulate on social media following the Gunners' defeat to Hibs, with many quick to point out that he appeared to have put on weight since the end of last season.

Arsenal's No.12 did not get off to the perfect start to life at the club during the 2020/21 campaign and will be determined to prove people wrong as the Gunners gear up for the new season.

It may take time for Willian to win back the support of fans, meaning every opportunity he has to do so is of significant importance.

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