Analysis

First impressions: Who caught the eye?

It’s been a busy summer for us so far, with a new head coach and five new first-team players arriving at the club.

Two of them, Sokratis and Matteo Guendouzi, were in action at Boreham Wood on Saturday, while a number of others made a big impression.

We look at the players who really caught the eye:

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG

Scored the first goal of the Unai Emery era with a stunning curling effort into the far corner, and then headed in another before completing his hat-trick within 17 minutes. Also had time to lay on an assist for Alexandre Lacazette during an outstanding first-half showing.


ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

The France international was full of energy, stretching the home defence throughout the first half and set up Nelson with a cut-back from the right byeline. Unselfishly tried to tee up Ainsley Maitland-Niles, before getting the goal he deserved just before the interval with a calm finish.


REISS NELSON

Playing on the right flank, the teenager was in confident mood as he continually ran at the Boreham Wood defence and showed his quick feet. Won a penalty that Aubameyang converted after a neat one-two with Lacazette, before volleying in the fourth brilliantly.


AINSLEY MAITLAND-NILES

Playing in midfield, the England  Under-20 World Cup winner set up Aubameyang for his second with a brilliant run, and could have claimed another assist but Nelson chose to pass from close range rather than shoot. A typically energetic performance that will have caught Emery’s eye.


EDDIE NKETIAH

A born goalscorer, the teenage striker introduced himself to his new head coach in style with a clever finish just after half time to make it 6-0. Also set up Mkhitaryan’s goal with a neat flick to round off another bright display.


SOKRATIS PAPASTATHOPOULOS

Brought in as an experienced head at the back, with a no nonsense attitude, we saw exactly what we were getting with his first touch as he barged through to clear a long ball with his head. Enjoyed the physical battle at the back, although Emery will expect the Greek defender to be even sharper over the coming weeks.

MATTEO GUENDOUZI

Brought on midway through the second period, the youngster showed no trace of nerves as he played at the base of the midfield, keeping it simple with his distribution and one burst to win the ball back on the touchline earned him a round of applause from the crowd.