Arsenal

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Europa League

Round Grp B (1)

2020-10-22 17:55:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2020/2021

Arsenal

In


Dani Ceballos (r) (mid) Real Madrid – loan extension; Willian (mid) Chelsea; Gabriel Magalhaes (def) Lille; Pablo Mari (def) Flamengo – loan made permanent; Cedric Soares (def) Southampton – loan made permanent; William Saliba (def) Saint-Etienne – end of loan; Mohamed Elneny (mid) Besiktas – end of loan;

Out


Henrikh Mkhitaryan (sp) (mid) Roma – loan made permanent;

Arsenal did well to finish last season with FA Cup triumph, which was clear proof that since Mikael Arteta took charge in late December things started improving slowly but surely for the Gunners. There have been not many key changes in off season so far, with the transfer window now open until October and most teams expected to get properly busy with moves near the end of it. Still defenders Mari and Soares made their moves to Arsenal permanent and experienced winger Willian joined from Chelsea + talented centre-back Gabriel was signed from Lille for substantial fee. Also 19-year-old Saliba returned from successful loan spell in France and, after big money were paid for him last summer, this might be his first proper year at Arsenal. Coach Arteta seems to prefer formation with 3 at the back, but he can be flexible too with Arsenal using 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 shapes often enough. What’s certain is that the army of talented teenagers will be getting plenty of chances to prove themselves under Arteta. This all good news for the likes of Wilock, Nelson, Saka and Nketiah. The main strength remain the forward actions, which is hardly surprising considering that Arsenal have arguably the most prolific striker in the Premier League in their ranks – captain Aubameyang! Also in his second year at the club much better things are expected from Pepe and the Gunners shouldn’t have problems creating chances. Influential Ceballos extended his loan stay at the club for another year and with him running things in midfield things should be much better. Still this remains area of weakness with Arsenal not having enough creative players in the heart of their team and relying heavily on Ceballos.

Target


Not expected to have enough class to challenge for a top 4 finish, but higher point-tally compared to last season and much stronger run in Europa League achievable goals.

Season Review
2019/2020

№8: Arsenal

Arsenal endured another very difficult season that saw them sacking Unai Emery in November and replacing him with Mikael Arteta in late December. The displays and results definitely improved after Arteta’s arrival and despite the disappointing league position, triumph in the FA Cup final over Chelsea still saw the Gunners qualifying for Europe for the 25th consecutive season! The improvement under Arteta, especially after the COVID-break, gives reasons for optimism, but the truth is that Arsenal again lacked defensive stability and this has been hurting the team for over 10 years now. The goal-scoring machine Aubameyang was the one thing that Arsenal could rely on all season. Another positive from the campaign was the progress made by several very talented teenagers - Wilock, Nelson, Saka, Martinelli and Nketiah all impressed and Arteta was very happy to trust them on plenty of occasions. Defensive frailties, sloppy individual displays in crucial games and endless issues with injuries were all serious weaknesses that affected the campaign. The Ozil problem also remained unresolved with the German star frozen out by Arteta, but still receiving his huge wage and preventing Arsenal from seriously strengthening the squad. Xhaka had a very mixed season that saw him losing the captain's armband in October after an ugly disagreement with fans, but then improving vastly under Arteta and finishing the season very well. Similar can be said for at least 5-6 other regulars, who had mixed seasons. With very limited financial manoeuvrability and yet another year without Champions League football, Arsenal are not expected to strengthen significantly this summer. However, with Arteta's ability to integrate his youngsters, the Gunners will be hoping for much better next season and their goal is to challenge for top 4 finish.


Player of the Season: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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