Analysis of Man Utd, Liverpool, Inter, Bayern Munich and Arsenal signings in action

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The summer friendlies provide a proving ground for footballers drafted in at great expense to new teams.

Although no points are on the line, intriguing hints towards how the signings will fit in, their current form and whether they will be a success can be gleaned.

At Sport360°, we will keep you up-to-date with how the new boys are getting on throughout the coming weeks.

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 1-3 ARSENAL

RATING: 6/10

The France striker got more minutes under his belt – and in an unfamiliar position.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger selected the £46.5 million (Dh223.6 million) man on the left wing in front of more than 80,000 fan as he attempted to use him in tandem with towering centre forward Olivier Giroud.

The highlight from Lacazette – who scored in his previous appearance – came for the opener, where a smart one-two with left wing-back Nacho Monreal allowed Giroud to smash in.

Alexandre Lacazette against WSW (Getty).

Alexandre Lacazette against WSW (Getty).

VICTOR LINDELOF

LA GALAXY 2-5 MANCHESTER UNITED

RATING: 5/10

This was a mixed bag of a debut for the Sweden centre-back. Thrown on for the second half in a three-man defence, the £31 million (Dh149.1 million) addition from Benfica showed supreme comfort in possession and almost grabbed a goal.

Yet he was beaten too easily by Mexico forward Giovani Dos Santos for LA Galaxy’s first consolation effort.

New team-mate Eric Bailly set a supreme benchmark from the off last pre-season, and this is the standard expected at Old Trafford.

Victor Lindelof against LA Galaxy (Man Utd/Twitter).

Victor Lindelof against LA Galaxy (Man Utd/Twitter).

ROMELU LUKAKU

LA GALAXY 2-5 MANCHESTER UNITED

RATING: 6/10

Lukaku was forced to take a back seat during his United bow, as Marcus Rashford got a brace and the £75 million (Dh360.7 million) new boy spurned a presentable chance.

Given the second half to impress, best friend Paul Pogba’s sharp interception and instant pass should have ended up with the ball in the back of the net. But Lukaku’s dragged effort on the turn was saved by goalkeeper Brian Row.

Manager Jose Mourinho was pleased with his contribution despite the miss, saying of the striker he sold at Chelsea in 2014: “He didn’t score goals, but he played better than the ones who did score goals.

“A good thing for me today is he’s a team player and was not worried about himself. He was worried about the improvement of the team.”

Romelu Lukaku against LA Galaxy (Getty).

Romelu Lukaku against LA Galaxy (Getty).

JAMES RODRIGUEZ

BAYERN MUNICH 2-0 WERDER BREMEN

RATING: 7/10

The loan signing from Real Madrid pulled the strings in midfield as Bayern defended the Telekom Cup on Saturday.

Nominally picked in the playmaker role for the final, the Colombia star productively floated inside from the right flank during a 45-minute match in which Thomas Muller and Juan Bernat got the goals. He was also happy to take on set-piece duty as his reunion with head coach Carlo Ancelotti got under way.

“I am happy with that. I hope to get fit in the following days,” James told reporters.

“That is what I want because I’ve been training here for just four days. But I am happy after what I did today, I feel good about it.”

James Rodriguez against Werder Bremen (Getty).

James Rodriguez against Werder Bremen (Getty).

MOHAMED SALAH

WIGAN ATHLETIC 1-1 LIVERPOOL

RATING: 7/10

The Egypt forward’s eye for goal continued on debut as he struck during the stalemate at League One Wigan.

The £34 million (Dh163.5 million) buy from Roma tapped in from close range after excellent work from the Brazil duo of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.

Salah was then changed at half-time, meaning the Reds faithful only got a glimpse of what to expect in 2017/18.

Mohamed Salah against Wigan (Getty).

Mohamed Salah against Wigan (Getty).

BORJA VALERO

INTERNAZIONALE 1-2 NURNBERG

RATING: 7/10

The bearded Spanish centre midfielder experienced a low-key debut for the Nerazzurri, as they were beaten by lower-league German opposition.

Valero left the fray at half-time with the score goalless. His opening 45 minutes saw him bed into the Inter midfield alongside the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia and Marcelo Brozovic.

More will be expected from the €7 million (Dh29.5 million) purchase from Fiorentina when Inter depart to China on Tuesday.

Borja Valero against Nurnberg (Inter).

Borja Valero against Nurnberg (Inter).

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Alexis Sanchez wants to leave Arsenal - here's how they could line-up without him

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Sign of the future: Arsenal need to plan for life without Alexis Sanchez (Getty).

Arsenal on Saturday received the news they had been dreading as Alexis Sanchez, a sole source of inspiration for much of last season, piled on the pressure by revealing his desperation to play in the Champions League.

The 28-year-old’s comments to Chilean media would have been welcomed by suitors such as Manchester City, who can now offer a platform in Europe’s premier club competition during 2017/18 which the Gunners cannot.

With the possibility growing that Arsene Wenger will be without the electric forward who scored 24 goals and registered 10 assists in 38 Premier League games last term, here we look at the manager’s attacking options next term as he plans for life without him.

DREAM SCENARIO

Even without being able to offer Champions League-football, Wenger has shown ambition with his transfer targets.

If he is able to perform a miracle and snap up both playmaker Thomas Lemar and teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe from Monaco, a tweaked 3-4-3 formation would offer goals galore.

To also facilitate Alexandre Lacazette, a club-record £46.5 million (Dh223.6 million) buy from Lyon, Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil could drop back into the three-man centre midfield.

This set-up would place enormous defensive responsibility on the likes of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey in the middle. But it would be a joy to behold.

REALISTIC

Wenger has already vowed to stick with the 3-4-2-1 which delivered the FA Cup after its utilisation in April.

With Real Madrid heading the chasing pack for Mbappe, the chances are slim that the 18-year-old will be running out at Emirates Stadium next term. Yet the same cannot be said for Lemar, despite Monaco’s current intransigence about another sale.

A signing which has gone under the radar for the Gunners is powerful Bosnia-Herzegovina defender Sead Kolasinac. A tally of three goals and five assists last term in the Bundesliga for a struggling Schalke 04 hints at his promise.

A return to the stellar form of 2015/16 would also be most welcome for rampaging Spain right wing-back Hector Bellerin.

ALTERNATIVE

It is always good to have options during a hectic season, and there will come times for Arsenal to go more direct.

A change to the 4-2-3-1 which was enacted for much of last term could add purpose and penetration.

If France striker Olivier Giroud is retained, he can provide an excellent centre point for those around him. In the three behind him, England attacker Danny Welbeck and Lacazette would add a significant goal threat as inverted wingers.

The emphasis would fall on Ozil to supply the bullets, a role he has no problem performing.

One clear downside to this shape comes in the guise of Xhaka. The Switzerland midfielder, belatedly, blossomed when a change was made to 3-4-2-1 towards the end of a frustrating debut campaign.

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Man United and Man City target Alexis Sanchez hints at Arsenal exit - "I want to play in the Champions League"

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Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez wanting to leave Arsenal this summer is one of the first kept secrets in football at the moment.

The 28-year-old has excelled in the last two seasons since signing for the Gunners from Barcelona and is primed for one more big move at this stage of his career.

The Chilean has been the topic of much interest from several European clubs this summer but Arsenal have unsurprisingly been reluctant to sell their talisman.

However, with just one year left on his contract, the Premier League outfit risk losing him on a free next year.

“I want to play in the Champions League. The decision isn’t down to me, I need to wait for Arsenal,” Sanchez said speaking in an interview in Chile on Saturday.

“The idea is to play and win the Champions League. I’ve dreamt about it since I was a kid.”

Arsenal, having failed to finish in the top four last season will be playing in the Europa League instead.

The timing of Sanchez’s quotes is curious as well as just earlier on Saturday Wenger revealed he had “positive” talks with Sanchez via text.

“Of course (he will stay),” Wenger said.

“There is not a lot to resolve with the player. I have spoken through text and it was very positive. My thoughts are always positive.”

While Wenger remains optimistic about keeping Sanchez in north London, the Chilean’s latest quotes suggest his heart is set on a move.

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