The Gunners boss turns to Folarin Balogun to start the season opener against Brentford
Mikel Arteta said Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were left out of Arsenal’s season opener against Brentford because the two ‘feel bad’.
Both Aubemeyang and Lacazette played for Arsenal in the pre-season, but the club’s two star strikers did not select the match for Friday’s opening in the Premier League.
Folarin Balogun got his debut in the Premier League instead, while the English under-20 joined Arsenal’s attack, as did Nicolas Pepe, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli.
What did Arteta say?
“[Aubameyang and Lacazette] feel bad, that’s all I can say. “Instead of thinking of excuses, we think of solutions, so that’s what we will do today,” said Arteta. Sky Sports before the match.
‘This is a very young man [Arsenal] team, full of excitement and energy, and that’s what I want to see on the field.
‘The opportunities come for different reasons in your career. [Folarin Balogun] has one today so he can enjoy it better.
“[Brentford] is very dangerous. They are very exciting and [promotion] deserved was. They had a long journey to the Premier League. They fully deserve the position they are in.
“We want to keep going, keep improving and we know this league is a long marathon. Today is day one, so let’s enjoy it.”
Arsenal’s first team
Arsenal’s big summer signing, Ben White, has been named the club’s first start of the year, having moved from Brighton to London this summer.
He was with Pablo Mari in the central defense along with Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney.
The midfield consists of the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga along with Grant Xhaka, while Bernd Leno starts in goal.