Albert Sambi Lokonga gives Mikel Arteta something to think about ahead of Oleksandr Zinchenko’s arrival and Rob Holding doesn’t help his cause for regular football… FOUR THINGS WE LEARNED from Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Orlando City
Arsenal continued their pre-season preparations with a 3-1 win over Orlando City at the Exploria Stadium.
The Gunners were being held by their opponents after Gabriel Martinelli’s goal was cancelled out by Facundo Torres, before strikes from Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson secured the victory.
Here, Sportsmail’s Daniel Matthews looks at four things we learned from the encounter.
Arsenal continued their pre-season preparations with a 3-1 victory against Orlando City
LOKONGA GIVES ARTETA SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
There will be a few Arsenal players wondering where the arrival of Zinchenko might leave them. They include Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Competition for places in the Arsenal midfield is now even more fierce. Here, the 22-year-old started on the left of the midfield three – a position that looks perfectly suited to Zinchenko’s creative talents.
With the Ukrainian watching on, however, Lokonga put in a decent hour – he helped create Gabriel Martinelli’s opener, he laid on another chance for Eddie Nketiah and came close with an effort of his own in the second half. Something for Arteta to ponder, at least.
Albert Sambi Lokonga put in a decent shift during his hour on the pitch on Wednesday
Lokonga might have to battle incoming signing Oleksandr Zinchenko for a spot in midfield
EASIER NIGHT FOR KROENKE
This was a rather more pleasant evening out for Stan Kroenke. The last time the Arsenal owner watched his side play over here was in Denver three years ago, when he was given dog’s abuse by Gunners supporters.
The mood was less toxic as Arsenal’s big wigs – Edu, CEO Vinai Venkatesham, Stan and Josh Kroenke – gathered in Orlando on Wednesday night.
Perhaps, in part, because they were joined here by Oleksandr Zinchenko, whose impending arrival will take Arsenal’s summer outlay to around £115million. That’s after they were the Premier League’s biggest spenders last summer. That always helps win people over.
Stan Kroenke faced a less toxic atmosphere than he faced the last time Arsenal play in the USA
HOLDING AND MARI CARVED OPEN
Rob Holding went on the defensive this week, refusing to carry the can for Arsenal’s collapse in last season’s Champions League race.
He also wants more than a bit-part role seeing out games for the final few minutes.
Unfortunately Holding now faces added competition from the returning William Saliba and, on this evidence, his cause won’t be helped by playing alongside Pablo Mari.
They started Wednesday night’s friendly together and were carved open several times before Mikel Arteta rung the changes at half time.
Holding was booked after 90 seconds and later left for dead by Benji Michel on halfway. The introduction of Gabriel at half-time helped him enjoy a rather quieter 15 minutes after the break.
Pablo Mari and Rob Holding were carved open several times during the first-half of the match
PATO SHOWS MOMENTS OF CLASS
Alexandre Pato, remember him? He was the future once. Now 32, the Brazilian striker is in his second season with Orlando City.
Injuries continue to wreck his body but still Pato showed flashes of class against Arsenal on Wednesday night. Albeit at walking pace.
After the game, he swapped shirts and posed for photographs with compatriot Gabriel Jesus. Arsenal fans will hope he lasts longer in London than Pato, who spent six, injury-interrupted months on loan at Chelsea in 2016.
Alexandre Pato showed moments of class despite Orlando City’s defeat on Wednesday
After the match 32-year-old Pato swapped shirts with Brazilian compatriot Gabriel Jesus