Arsenal brushing aside Benfica 5-2 in their opening game of this year’s Emirates Cup was good viewing, but this fixture spoke volumes for the absent friends and a certain Alexis Sanchez in particular. Arsene Wenger reinforced his stance that Alexis will see out the remaining year on his current contract despite intense pressure to sell from Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain. Arsenal fans got to see new signing Sead Kolasinac who had an excellent game and was instrumental in two of the Arsenal goals. His powerful all action game at both ends of the pitch worked well as the left sided midfielder ahead of a three man defence. Reiss Nelson also caught the eye with his pace and movement and Wenger praised both after the final whistle. Alexandre Lacazzete also came on for the latter stages of the game.

On Kolisanac, Wenger said, ” I think he has gone, in pre-season, from strength to strength. He started a bit nervous, but every single week he moved his level up and in the last game was already good and today again I think he was influential as well. The first two goals came from him. He looks powerful and the timing of his availability going forward was very good.”

On the other wing and behind two goal hero Theo Walcott, Reiss also gave a good account for himself and had a very promising game.

” He’s a young player of our academy and he had an encouraging pre-season and he has shown that he can dribble, he can pass people, he is not fazed by the occasion and he looks confident. Of course it’s good for him, the confidence level that he can play in these kind of games,” said Wenger.

With much of the post match focus on Alexis who was due to return to England on Sunday, Wenger revealed that the two had been in contact via text message, and that he will return to London in a few days after he recovers from a cold. On Alexis’s contract situation, and whether the uncertainty is cause for concern similar to Wenger’s own situation last season, the Arsenal manager felt the two cases were different.

” No, it’s not the same. It’s not the same I think, the players who have one year of contract have to respect their contract and play out their contract. After for a manager is a bit different because it concerns more what is the future of the club. The players were thinking what’s going on and what’s happening, so it creates uncertainty because it’s a global policy. I am responsible for the global policy of the club but for the players it is different.

Alex Iwobi, Olivier Giroud, a Lopez own goal added to Walcott’s brace. The Gunners now face Sevilla on Sunday, the La Liga side beat Leipzig 1-0 in the earlier game.