This summer, some of Arsenal's top players are spread out all across Europe, returning to their home nations to help them try to achieve glory in the 2016 UEFA European championships. Jack Wilshere joins the England side, while host nation France will be enjoying the talents of Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny. Elsewhere, Petr Cech returns to the Czech Republic to guard their goalmouth, while Germany will be hoping that Mesut Ozil can take them all the way through to the cup. Gunners fans will also be keeping a close eye on Granit Xhaka as he plays for Switzerland, to get an indication of his form when the new signing comes on board with Arsenal next season.
Of course, Euro 2016 is about which teams do well, but there are also plenty of opportunities for individual players to shine. Many will be thinking about their own reputations as well as their nation's pride, and who can blame them? A good run at Euro 2016 will set the tone for how they're deployed when they return to their clubs, and the top players will also have their eye on the coveted Golden Boot award for the top goal scorer in the tournament. Last year, six players all scored three goals each and shared the title, though Fernando Torres was actually picked for the award. Will it go to an Arsenal player this time? Who knows, but here are some of the players to keep an eye on:
Ones to watch
Switzerland may not be expected to go all the way in the tournament, but Granit Xhaka should still get some chances to display the versatility and physical prowess that should hopefully make him a major asset to the Arsenal midfield next season. The jury's still out whether he'll get a place in the starting XI, and how he performs in Euro 2016 could well be the deciding factor.
Similarly, Jack Wilshere will be out to prove himself on the England team, after spending a long period on the bench for Arsenal due to a broken fibula. He was in some ways a surprising choice for the National side, but certainly proved himself in the qualifiers, as he was awarded man of the match in six of the seven games. Wilshere is obviously itching for action after his enforced lay-off and seems determined to make up for lost time in the tournament.
The big guns
Aaron Ramsey is unquestionably a major asset for the Welsh team. Alongside Gareth Bale, Ramsey is one of the main factors that may lift the plucky underdogs to punch above their weight in the championship. Conversely, Mesut Ozil is a star player on a heavyweight team. Barring any unexpected curveballs, he'll have many opportunities to show why he's regarded by many as Europe's greatest footballer, as Germany head inexorably towards the finals. The Arsenal player of the season stood out in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups for Germany, and his breathtaking attacks and genius assists are the stuff of footballing legend.
Fast building up a legend of his own, is Olivier Giroud. The jolly Gallic giant has earned 50 caps for France, and scored 16 goals in the 2015-16 Season for Arsenal. The 888sport blog tips Giroud as an outside chance for this year's Golden Boot, and it's not hard to see why many might consider him a contender.
Not to be overlooked
Of the other Arsenal players in Euro 2016, Hector Bellerin should not be overlooked just because of his relative youth. As a right back, he's a fast and dextrous player in what has traditionally been a weak link in the Spanish formation. And although for obvious reasons he's not in the running for the Golden Boot, Petr Cech is resuming his role as the Czech Republic's vice-captain and remains a solid asset in goal.
It's always interesting to see how Arsenal players do when going into action for their national side in a tournament such as this. Subtle changes in their technique or approach can be endlessly debated, perhaps due to the demands of a different coach or just different cultural conditions. Arguably, European football requires a slightly different approach than the Premier League anyway, something the England team does not always seem to grasp. Differences aside though, the manner in which many of these players perform in the Euro tournament will certainly have a bearing on how they go into the 2016-17 season back home. And in the meantime, we hope to see some stunning displays of footballing versatility from the Arsenal boys, whatever country they're playing for.