The Premier League is finally back on the 12th August and with that in mind, we’ve done a season preview of every club and their chances for the upcoming season. First up, we have last seasons runners up, Arsenal.
Last Season: 2nd
Top Scorer: Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Ødegaard (16)
Transfers In: Kai Havertz – Chelsea, £65m, Declan Rice – West Ham, £105m, Jurrien Timber – Ajax, £38m
Transfers Out: Granit Xhaka – Bayer Leverkusen, £21.4m, Pablo Mari – Monza, undisclosed, Nikolaj Moller – St Gallen, undisclosed, Mazeed Ogungbo – Barrow, undisclosed, Matt Smith – Wigan, free, Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Released, Mauro Bandeira – Colchester, loan, Hubert Graczyk – Slough Town, loan, Billy Vigar – Eastbourne, loan
First game: Nottingham Forest (H)
What a magnificent but ultimately fruitless season it was for the Gunners last season.
Mikel Arteta has created an exciting, fearless squad that was the youngest in the league last season and belied that youth to produce some incredible football.
A eight point gap over champions Manchester City was soon reined in, however and the north London club had to settle for the runners up spot and Champions League football – not a bad consolation prize.
Arsenal currently top the transfer window spending charts, having spent over £200m, so they are not content to sit on their laurels and appear keen on chasing that City side down.
In has come the midfield duo of Kai Havertz and new English record transfer Declan Rice, as well as Ajax defender Jurrien Timber, who should help to sure things up at the back.
Arsenal will have been particularly delighted to have secured the signature of the West Ham captain, as other big clubs were chasing his signature and he will provide the steel in the middle of the park, following Granit Xhaka’s departure.
This should allow star man Martin Ødegaard to surge forward and add to his 16 Premier League goals last season.
With another year in this young squads legs, they should push City even closer this season but they are missing a truly top class striker, that in Erling Haaland, the Citizen’s clearly have.
A lot will depend on how quickly the new signings can bed into life at the Emirates but Arteta appears to have fostered a superb team spirit, that allows freedom of expression and helps new signings to relax.
If Gabriel Jesus can stay fully fit for the season and Bukayo Saka can kick on from an amazing season for club and country, they could take this season to the wire.
I like the 9/4 on offer for Arsenal to win the league without City. They were easily the 2nd best team in the league last season and have had a superb transfer window. The likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd, Newcastle and Spurs will be chasing at their heels but I still have the Gunners in clear second place.