TFTWC Season Preview 2022-23: Arsenal – Top Four Or Bust for Arteta?

TFTWC Season Preview 2022-23: Arsenal – Top Four Or Bust for Arteta?

Last Season Review

Last season was quite the rollercoaster for Arsenal. From being at the bottom of the table with no goals scored after three matches to missing out on Champions League football right at the end to bitter rivals Tottenham. That being said, Mikel Arteta has progressed this squad and they look much stronger heading into the new season.

There were several points in the season when fans were calling for Arteta to be sacked, but the Spaniard weathered the storm. The board also backed him when he went up against certain players and now he has a squad that he wants. Arteta also was given a new contract showing that he is there to stay and has been trusted as the man to bring the club back to its glory days.

While Arsenal were in a strong position to clinch the fourth spot with four games to go, they ultimately were unable to make the most of it in the run up to the end of the season and lost matches. This means they will now play in the Europa League but after two seasons of finishing 8th, this is certainly progress. It will also give this incredibly young squad some experience of playing in Europe against teams they will be able to beat.

Completed Transfers

Arsenal have been busy in the transfer window making four big signings so far. Gabriel Jesus is the headline-making signing for £45m. After the departure of Aubameyang and Lacazette, Arteta has gone all out to get Jesus from Manchester City. Having worked with him in the past, Jesus looks set to be the main man for the Gunners henceforth. A statement of intent from Arsenal- buying one of Man City’s best players in the past few years.

Fabio Viera was signed from Porto earlier this month for around £34m. A versatile midfielder who can play as an 8 or a 10, he will add some much-needed depth to this attack. The Portugal midfielder will add further creative talent to Arsenal’s ranks having laid on a league-high 14 assists and six goals for Porto in the Portuguese league last season.

Apart from them, the Gunners have also signed Brazilian wonderkind Marquinhos from Sao Paulo and backup goalkeeper Matt Turner who together cost around £10m.

It’s been brilliant business so far, Arsenal have wasted no time in bolstering their squad early on in the window to give Arteta enough time to train these players in pre-season.

Rumoured Arrivals

The biggest transfer rumour at the moment links Ajax centre-back, Lisandro Martinez, with a move to North London. Arteta has been pushing for his signature and by the looks of it, he will get his man soon. The clubs are £10m apart in their valuation of the player but the player himself is very keen on the move. He would add some much-needed depth at centre-back and can fill it at full-back as well.

Arsenal are also linked with a shock move for Serge Gnabry who is reportedly unhappy at Bayern Munich. A return to his boyhood club is on the cards if Arsenal can agree on a fee with Bayern. A frontline of Saka, Jesus, and Gnabry with Odegaard behind them would be incredibly exciting for the club and their fans.

Expectations For Next Season

Getting into the top four is a must for Arteta this season. Whether through the league itself or winning the Europa League, Arsenal have to finish the season with Champions League football. If not, a lot of questions will be asked of Arteta and his job could hang in the balance.

One thing going in Arteta’s favour is that this squad is very young; last season Arsenal had the youngest squad in the Premier League. So seeing progress is also important. The likes of Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe, and the new signings need to improve and grow with this squad.

Arteta has the pre-season to mold his squad and get them ready to compete in the Premier League and secure top four by the end of the season and the Spanish boss will also look at an extended run in the Europa League.

With the new recruits and their existing squad of starlets, it’s building up to be a season that Arsenal fans will be rather optimistic about, but whether Arteta can make this group of players deliver the results needed by the fans and the board remains in question.

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