The new Premier League season is upon us and the predictions are rolling in. There’s no reasonable argument that can be made to separate Manchester City and Liverpool as both are levels above all other teams and will certainly again challenge for the Premier League title.
Chelsea are in a bit of a dilemma and it won’t surprise many if they miss out on the top four, while it will be too big a task for Erik ten Hag to fix Manchester United’s problems in his first season. That leaves us with Arsenal and Tottenham—two north London rivals who will aim for better campaigns compared to the last.
Arsenal finished fifth behind Tottenham last season, missing out on Champions League football again. This means they have not played in Europe’s top competition for six years now. With the Gunners taking a longer-term approach, and backing Mikel Arteta to the hilt, securing Champions League football for the next year will be massive.
That being said, here are three reasons why Arsenal could finish in the top four.
Reasons why Arsenal could finish in the top four in Premier League
A solid summer
Arsenal missing out on the top four last season was disappointing for Arteta, the players and fans, especially when they once looked in firm control of achieving it. Those doubts over the club’s bottle remain going into the new campaign but there is an indisputable sense of optimism currently around the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have enjoyed a strong summer, both on the pitch and off it. In Marquinhos, Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Matt Turner and Fabio Vieira, have addressed some key areas of the squad. With these new players, Arteta now has the depth and quality he demanded and remains open to more signings.
Add the solid transfer business done to their positive pre-season, and Arsenal look very much in the top four conversation as we enter the 2022/23 campaign.
A very exciting attack
Arsenal released Alexandre Lacazette after the expiry of his contract in June which made Mikel Arteta prioritise signing a centre-forward in the ongoing transfer window. Thanks mostly to Arteta’s previous contacts with Manchester City, the north Londoners took advantage of the situation surrounding Gabriel Jesus following Erling Haaland’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium and signed him.
Jesus, 25, was in electric form throughout the pre-season for Arsenal, scoring seven goals in five games. With the signing of the Brazilian international, Arsenal can have an exciting attack on paper involving Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard.
With the kind of offensive players Arteta currently possesses in his squad, the Gunners can rip apart Premier League defences and score plenty of goals. Jesus was wanted by Juventus who could offer him Champions League football but Arsenal managing to get his signature was a huge statement of intent.
William Saliba’s return to Arsenal after a highly successful spell with Marseille has boosted Arteta’s options at the back.
Saliba, 21, was excellent in every pre-season game that he played over the last month, including the big ones against Chelsea and Sevilla. The young Frenchman would not only add depth to the Gunners’ backline but also allow Arteta to go with a back three system when required.
The acquisition of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City means that Arteta now has got a proper player to compete with Kieran Tierney for the left-back spot. Not only that, but Zinchenko’s versatility to operate in midfield will also come in handy.
The return of Saliba and the roping in of Zinchenko will go a long way in building a strong defensive spine that can help keep a lot more clean sheets compared to the last term. Thus, the fans have been rightly buoyed by the transferred business done so far, giving them plenty of hope of seeing their club realistically competing for a top-four berth.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.