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Lucas Torreira will join up with his Arsenal teammates on July 30th, 12 days before Manchester come to the Emirates to open the season. The Uruguayan, after three weeks off after the World Cup, needs a shot at some fitness prior to the start of the season.
Summer preparations are pivotal for the upcoming season. The preseason is often overlooked, especially the friendlies, as the glitz and glamour of the transfer window demands the focus and attention of the footballing world, but it is one of the most important periods of the whole calendar.
As Yaya Toure once stated, ‘Pre-season is not something I like at all But, we need it because we need to prepare well for a long season.’ The players may not like preseason, but laying down that base fitness with double training sessions, building up the athletic capacity of the players, analysing their physiological results, and implementing key tactical and technical components are all processes that are done during the summer weeks.
And this summer, those preparations are complicated by the World Cup. With domestic managers still keen to give their players some time off after the World Cup and before the new season, it is not unusual for some to not return until just a week before the opening game of the league campaign, often resulting in them missing the first few games of the year as they build on their fitness.
This is a particular problem for new signings. Not only are they joining up late with the club, likely having missed the main preseason tour and many, if not all, of the preseason friendlies, but they are joining up with new players, playing under a new manager, potentially moving to a new city, country, and maybe even having to learn a new language. That can be challenging in such a truncated period of time.