Looking Ahead To Next Season For Arsenal
After a season that Arsenal finish as runners-up in the Premier League to Leicester City, the best chance to win the title since 2004, it may seem an odd thing to say but the future is looking even brighter for the Gunners. Despite a season that had numerous supporter-led protests focused at manager Arsène Wenger and his failure to adequately enhance the squad, the club’s late run of form saw them overtake local rivals Tottenham into second place.
Players such as Premier League winners Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have been linked with the club as they look to strengthen. This is a far cry from last season, where Wenger only signed a goalkeeper, Petr Cech, from London rivals Chelsea in the summer transfer window – despite fans and pundits alike insisting that the club needed major outfield additions.
Mohamed Elneny arrived in January, but he is a young player and still learning. However, certain players last season had excellent individual seasons. Firstly, Mesut Özil scored eight goals and registered 19 assists in what was his best form for the club since arriving from Real Madrid in 2013. Danny Welbeck returned in February from long-term injury to add a much-needed boost to the squad, and scored important goals before being injured again, which stopped him from being named in England’s Euro 2016 squad.
Cech also showed why he was such an important signing, even at 33/34, by putting in a string of consistent and dominant performances. However, Alexis Sanchez struggled to replicate the form that he showed in his first season. With a full pre-season under his belt, the Chilean will surely prove to be the club’s talisman again next season.
For those interested in looking at the odds, Bookies.com has a collection of the best football odds around for the upcoming Premier League season. It should be an intriguing contest for all the top clubs. Wenger will get to test his managerial mettle against new additions Chelsea’s Antonio Conte, and Pep Guardiola – who is joining Manchester City from Bayern Munich.
In order to fully prepare his squad as best as possible, it appears that the Frenchman is attempting to get his transfer dealings done as early as possible. The signing of Granit Xhaka could turn out to be one of the deals of the summer. His physicality and technical ability mean that he is ready-made for the Premier League, and will be an upgrade on the departing Mikel Arteta – Xhaka was also the captain at former club Borussia Monchengladbach, so may bring some much needed leadership into midfield.
The Swiss international will also be joined at the beginning of the season by a fully-fit Jack Wilshere. The midfielder has had wretched luck with injuries, but has confirmed that he is now in peak condition. When he plays a run of fixtures, there are not many more naturally gifted players in the league.
All these circumstances – coupled with the fact that most of the other major sides are in transition – mean that Wenger is finally rebuilding the spine of his team, and looking ahead to the 2016/17 season, there seems no reason why the Gunners are not one of the favourites to win the Premier League title.
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