Nigerian youngster Chuba Akpom scored a hat-trick as Arsenal began their pre-season programme with a 4-0 win over a Singapore XI in the Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore on Wednesday.
Akpom’s compatriot Alex Iwobi, who started the match, also had an impressive outing, showing flashes of brilliance.
The 19-year-old Akpom gave Arsène Wenger’s side a first-half lead and then rolled in a penalty before completing his treble with a powerful header.
Jack Wilshere also scored from the spot as the tourists blew away some cobwebs with an encouraging display at Singapore’s national stadium. They return here on Saturday to face Everton in the final after the Merseysiders beat Stoke City on penalties in Wednesday’s opening game.
There were plenty of positives for Wenger to glean from his team’s first workout of the summer – including the contribution of teenager Iwobi. A more searching examination awaits this weekend as Arsenal build up their fitness and form ahead of the new campaign.
Wenger rested 10 of his 27-man squad for the first game of Arsenal’s Singapore trip, opting for those who had the most pre-season training under their belts.
That meant a start for first-time tourist Iwobi, while Wilshere lined up in the No 10 role behind centre forward Akpom. Per Mertesacker captained the side with Mikel Arteta among those given a watching brief.