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5 things we noticed as Arsenal's stars return to group training

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Arsenal stars returned to group training on Friday for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak.

The club's London Colney training ground has been open for a couple of weeks for first-team players, but they had only been using it for fitness purposes in individual sessions.

But they were given a taste of life back out on the pitch and in each others company on Friday as Premier League restrictions have been loosened this week.

Mikel Arteta undertook a training session outdoors, but only for small groups of players at a time.

And with a Premier League return expected next month, it was straight back to business.

Here are 5 things we noticed.

Alexandre Lacazette shows his happiness at returning to group training (Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images) Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles 1. All systems go Bukayo Saka jumps over a hurdle as Arsenal stars are put through their paces (Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

There was no easing back into things for Arsenal's stars as Arteta put them through their paces from the off.

Arsenal's last fixture was on March 7, and they went into lockdown soon after following Arteta's coronavirus diagnosis.

The Spaniard has long since recovered, and looked fit and well as he barked orders at his troops thoughout some high intensity drills.

Training started with some plyometric exercises, before going straight into ball work as Arsenal's players begin to shake off some of those cobwebs before the potential Premier League restart.

2. Aubameyang's last dance? Aubameyang returned to training - but for how long? (Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Speculation surrounding the future of The Gunners' captain and talisman has been rife during lockdown, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to training with a smile ahead of what could be his final bow at the club.

Having been isolating since mid-March, the Gabonese international was sporting a more bouffant hair style as he joined back up with his teammates, while Hector Bellerin has lopped off his locks in favour of a completely shaved head.

Arteta fed Aubameyang with a number of instructions during a training drill, much of which was seemingly to his forward's bemusement.

Arsenal fans will no doubt be pleased to see their top scorer back - but for how long?

3. Pepe means business Nicolas Pepe fires a shot at goal during a practice drill (Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

It's been a tough season for Nicolas Pepe, but the winger looks intent on finishing his debut campaign in England with a bang.

Still yet to justify his £72million price tag, the Ivorian has plenty of pressure on his young shoulders to deliver the goods for his side.

He wasted no time in letting off some steam during training however, showing some quick footwork to slalom through a dribbling exercise, as well as whipping a few tasty free-kicks at goal.

With so much of Arsenal's season resting on the run-in, Pepe's form will be crucial.

4. No time to waste Mikel Arteta gives Matteo Guendouzi tactical advice in training (Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

After weeks on the sidelines it was no surprise to see fitness and technical work at the forefront of Arsenal's training.

However Arteta was still keen to get back to his tactics board and renew efforts to put his stamp on his side.

Youngster Matteo Guendouzi seemed the biggest target for tuition from his manager, with Arteta giving the midfielder plenty of pointers.

Arsenal had begun to gain some momentum under their new boss in the weeks leading up to the enforced break, and they need to keep it going if they want a positive finish.

Read More Mirror Football's Top Stories 5. Mischievous Mustafi Shkodran Mustafi was quick to play jester for his teammates (Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Six months ago Shkodran Mustafi looked on his way out of Arsenal, but the German defender is now so at ease he turned joker in training.

First he was seen hiding a ball up his shirt, perhaps suggesting he had put on a few unwanted pounds during the break.

Rather than get back to work though, he was then content with laying down on the job, taking a break as he rested on the turf.

He did finally get himself moving, and he'll need to continue in that vein if he wants to keep his shirt from the likes of Pablo Mari and co.

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