Mikel Arteta will be looking to build on his first full season in charge of Arsenal where he guided us to an eighth-place finish.
Having finished below Tottenham Hotspur for five consecutive seasons now the Spanish manager could do with another summer to rebuild and prepare the team ahead of an important season.
Prior to making any new signings since the end of last season the bookmakers have us at 7/1 to finish in the top four currently. With a couple of new faces at the Emirates before the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season, you can expect those odds to drop at the likes of playersbest.com and co.
David Luiz’s had been expected by a year 12 months ago, but Arteta doesn’t see any value in the 34-year-old moving forward as the Brazilian international has been released on a free transfer.
We currently have a number of centre-back options on our books to partner Gabriel next season, including Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari. But the returning William Saliba could establish himself by the end of next season.
Our bigger losses were arguably Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos, returning to Real Madrid following their loan .spells. Both were playmakers, leaving just Emile Smith Rowe to fill their roles in the squad currently.
Expect at least one central midfielder to join us this summer. Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Ruben Neves has been strongly linked already this summer and would be an ideal candidate to fill the void left by Ceballos.
21-year-old Albert Sambi Lokonga is expected to sign with us in the coming days too. The Anderlecht defensive midfielder would be ideal given Arteta’s lake of faith in Lucas Torreira, who spent last season on loan at Atletico Madrid.
In a more attacking midfield role, long-term target Houssem Aouar of Lyon continues to be linked with a move to the Gunners.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see a new centre-back arrive this summer either. Leeds United and England international Ben White has been strongly linked this month.
Top 4 Ambitions?
Manchester City and Liverpool are widely-expected to compete for the top two places next season and we’re currently far off from being able to match them.
Champions League winners Chelsea could pull away from the chasing pack too with how well they performed in the second half of the season following the arrival of Thomas Tuchel. Should Timo Werner find his shooting boots then they will be tough to match.
Potentially that leaves just one Champions League spot available to the rest of us. Manchester United finished runners-up this past season and Leicester City are a tight-knit side that have performed very well in recent seasons. Should Spurs lose Harry Kane this summer then we have every reason to be confident in finishing above them.
For us, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future is up in the air with Arteta reportedly telling the star he can leave Arsenal this summer if any potential suiters match our asking price.
The Gabon international’s departure would leave us with 20+ goals a season to replace. Alexandre Lacazette has proven inconsistent in front of goal and Gabriel Martinelli wasn’t given too many opportunities this past year.
Right now we need a few new stars to arrive in North London to give us a fighting chance of a top four finish.