The 2018/19 Premier League season will be one that goes down in history for Arsenal regardless of their success that they may or may not achieve. For the first time in 20 years, Arsene Wenger will not be taking charge at the start of a new season. Whether this is a good or a bad thing, we wait to see but high expectations will be placed on Unai Emery as he embarks on his biggest career challenge yet. He’s already made a significant statement in the transfer market bringing in a new goalkeeper, a few new defenders and some strength in midfield. Arsenal will have a tough season ahead and will be seen as the weakest of the top six but they may be able to surprise people.
First, it’s important to look at their signings and what impact they might have. Everyone at Arsenal right now probably considers this as a fresh start, this is a new era for Arsenal and their fans should give everyone at the club time to adjust before slating them for a few nervy performances which are likely to come at the start of the season. Bernd Leno is an interesting signing, Cech proved last season that he isn’t the same world-class goalkeeper anymore due to some noticeable errors but bringing in Leno could have similar implications. Leno is also known as an error-prone keeper and while he does make some brilliant saves, Emery may live to regret not investing more. In defence, they brought in Sokratis and Lichtsteiner which brings some leadership to a team in desperate need of a leader but with both of them in their 30’s, their time at Arsenal may be limited.
All three of these signings will be questioned and they potentially show a good and a bad side of the new Arsenal. They’re willing to invest into the squad and seek out key areas that need improvement but they’re not willing to spend much more than £30 million on any player which in modern day football is never going to bring you top quality talent. The other two signings of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi are different and much better in my eyes. They’re both young players and Torreira, in particular, will add a lot more talent to the Arsenal midfield. I would like to see Arsenal spend a bit more money and bring in another talisman to their squad after losing Alexis Sanchez but perhaps they are still scouting for that man.
Overall, I see this Arsenal team in a much better place than they previously were. If Emery can get Aubameyang and Lacazette to compliment each other up front with the creativity of Ozil and Mkhitaryan behind them, then they can score endless amounts of goals. It’s no easy task and all other departments will also need to be performing well but Arsenal fans should be confident with the squad they have. Jurgen Klopp made similar signings when he first came to Liverpool and now he’s making world-class signings and perhaps in a season or two, we will see Emery at a similar level.
Lacazette and Aubameyang will need to be in good form throughout the entire season and Emery must be willing to give the youth a chance if the board isn’t willing to allocate large funding. All their squad needs to reunite under the new manager and Mesut Ozil should be well-respected during this tough period for him. This is a very talented squad and perhaps it’s just the start of a big project at Arsenal. If Emery can prove himself in the first few months before the transfer window, the board may be willing to give him more money to spend that they can then invest into young signings for the future. Arsenal must start winning silverware that will attract the very best talent or at least make it into the Champions League this season.
- 2018/19 Predicted Finish: 5th (+1)
- Premier League Title Chance: 6/10
- Other Silverware Chance: 7/10
- Predicted Top Scorer: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
- Predicted Player of the Season: Mesut Ozil
- Major Strength: Chance Creation
- Major Weakness: Squad Depth
Arsenal are not yet at the level where they can compete against Manchester City at the very top of the Premier League but over the course of the season, we may see them climb to those heights. In no way am I ruling Arsenal out of winning the league, I think that theoretically any of the top six could win the Premier League this season but Arsenal are not one of the clear favourites. They might, however, choose to focus on the Europa League or the League Cup this year and either of those two competitions would be significant achievements for the club and show the fans which direction the club is heading. Let us know what you think Arsenal will achieve this season by tweeting @AllOutFootball_ using #AOF.