Havertz makes Arsenal debut as Saliba returns

Havertz makes Arsenal debut as Saliba returns
Havertz makes Arsenal debut as Saliba returns

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Kai Havertz made his Arsenal debut and William Saliba returned from injury as the Gunners started their pre-season with a 1-1 draw against Nurnberg.

Havertz came on as a second-half substitute and gave fans a glimpse of what they can expect, winning possession high up the pitch to create an attack that led to Folarin Balogun, back at Arsenal after scoring 21 goals on loan at Ligue 1 club Stade de Reims last season, striking against a post.

On where he sees Havertz fitting in for the Gunners, manager Mikel Arteta told the club’s official website: “We will see. We have to see how he adapts and obviously get to know each other and build relationships. Football is about that and time will tell where he fits in best.”

Centre-back Saliba played 50 minutes, his first appearance since a 1-1 draw against Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Europa League in March.

Arsenal went in front on seven minutes through Bukayo Saka, the winger receiving a pass down the right from Ben White before cutting inside on to his left foot and unleashing a powerful shot into the bottom corner.

Pick Saka in your 2023/24 FPL squad

But an own goal by Jorginho in the 62nd minute brought Nurnberg level, and the Gunners were unable to respond and find a winner.

One concern for Arteta will be the fitness of captain Martin Odegaard, who picked up a slight knock in the warm-up and was replaced in the starting XI by Fabio Vieira.

The Arsenal manager also revealed concerns over the fitness of Leandro Trossard.

“[Martin Odegaard] and Leo [Trossard] are struggling and we had other players with issues picked up in the week so we have to be cautious. It’s pre-season and some of them have only had two or three training sessions so we’ll take it step by step,” Arteta said.

Winning start for Iraola

In Thursday’s other pre-season action, Andoni Iraola got off to a winning start as AFC Bournemouth head coach as the Cherries ran out 4-0 winners against Hibernian.

Justin Kluivert produced two assists on his Bournemouth debut, with the goals coming from David Brooks, Jaidon Anthony and a brace for Philip Billing.

Everton to get under way
LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY – MARCH 04: Kai Havertz of Leverkusen during the DFB Cup quarterfinal match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and 1. FC Union Berlin at BayArena on March 4, 2020 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images)

Sean Dyche’s side begin their preparations for the new season when they face Stade Nyonnais on Friday.

Everton made their first summer signing earlier on Thursday, with free agent Ashley Young joining after his contract expired at Aston Villa.

Havertz makes Arsenal debut as Saliba returns

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