The last time Arsenal won the Premier League, Manchester City wasn’t even a big club. It’s been donkey’s years and the fans are growing tired. This summer saw the Gunners’ hierarchy finally put their money where their mouth was. Now for the first time in a long time, Arsenal look set to challenge for the Premier League title. Let’s discuss why.
Here are five reasons why Arsenal can win the league.
#5 Youth Prospects
There’s been an evident changing of the guard at the Emirates this year. Freddie Ljungberg’s promotion to assistant manager has shown Emery’s faith in playing youth prospects this season. And why wouldn’t he, the Gunners have some of the best upcoming youngsters in England. Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Emile Smith-Rowe are all in contention to start for the first team, not because of potential, but productivity. These prospects have given Emery a new dimension this season, as their hunger is there for all to see.
#4 Unai Emery’s second season
At the top level of football, not many managers get a lot of time to fully implement their style at a football club. If results don’t correspond, a coach can often be forced to change his philosophy or face the sack. For Unai Emery, he has a grace period of two years at Arsenal, with the higher-ups giving him time to build his squad and implement a philosophy.
Last season, we saw slight improvements from the old regime, but ultimately UCL qualification wasn’t achieved. This season, Emery has been able to change training regimes and breed a tactical identity at the Emirates, meaning there’s no excuse for no improvement this campaign.
#3 Returning Injuries
They’ll be like a new signing,” is something Arsène Wenger used to say in relation to every injury the club had. But in this scenario, his words couldn’t hold more truth. By the end of October, the Gunners will be welcoming back Rob Holding and Hector Bellerín. These are two players that missed the majority of last season through a knee injury and crucial ligament rupture respectively. Both of these defenders are first-team picks for Emery, giving him the strength in depth a top-four challenging team needs.
#2 Improved Defence
It’s been evident for close to a decade that Arsenal has needed defensive reinforcements. This summer, the Arsenal higher-ups FINALLY addressed that deficiency. On Deadline Day, the Gunners signed one of the league’s most experienced defenders, David Luiz, a player who is a significant upgrade on the error-prone Shkodran Mustafi. On top of that, they signed one of the UK’s most promising left-backs in Kieran Tierney. The Gunners conceded 51 goals last season, the signing of these two players will significantly reduce that embarrassing total.
#1 Nicolas Pepe
Throughout last season, a whole host of clubs kept tabs on the exciting Nicolas Pepe. He was one of Europe’s most wanted players and for the first time in a long time, Arsenal has pulled off a real coup in the transfer market! Last season, the Ivorian scored 22 goals and provided 11 assists in 38 Ligue 1 appearances. That’s a strike rate that made him one of Europe’s most productive attackers.
The 24-year-old may take some time to adjust to the pace of the Premier League but once he gets going, he’ll form a formidable front three with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.