Arsenal head into the 2022/23 campaign with high hopes after a promising pre-season and productive summer transfer window.
Mikel Arteta and co. would have been hugely disappointed to miss out on Champions League qualification to traditional rivals Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season, but there is a lot to be excited about again.
After finishing fifth last term, Champions League qualification has to be the objective for 2022/23.
Arsenal will open their 2022-23 Premier League season away to Crystal Palace on August 5, which is expected to be a fascinating affair considering the general atmosphere at Selhurst Park.
The Gunners will play their first home game of the campaign against Leicester City a week later, while they will also take on newly-promoted Bournemouth and Fulham in the first month of the campaign.
The month of September will see them take on Manchester United at Old Trafford before games against Everton and Brentford. The first north London derby of 2022/23 will take place at the Emirates Stadium at the start of October.
A difficult October will further see Arsenal take on Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Leeds United, Manchester City, Southampton and Nottingham Forest. Before the players depart for the 2022 World Cup, they will cross swords with Chelsea and Wolves.
The north Londoners will resume their campaign on Boxing Day with a home game against West Ham. The second north London derby will take place in January, before Arteta’s side clash horns with Manchester United, Everton, Brentford and Aston Villa in their next few fixtures.
A challenging April will see the Gunners play six games, which included fixtures against the likes of Leeds, Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea. All of the Big Six battles will be done before the final month of the campaign, and gameweek 38 sees Arsenal welcome Wolves.
Transfer Business—Ins and Outs
Arsenal have addressed the major areas they needed to in the transfer market—centre-forward and left-back—with the signings of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko. In Fabio Vieira, who supplied 14 assists for FC Porto last term, could be an ideal deputy to club captain Martin Odegaard, whereas the capture of Marquinhos is a player with huge potential to be unlocked.
Up front, Gabriel Jesus is the multi-faceted striker the Gunners have been crying out for some time. He has been extremely sharp in pre-season, scoring goals, linking play and creating openings for his teammates. If the Brazilian can become the 20-goal striker Arteta would want and sprinkle his experience and winning mentality around the team that has some sublime talents in Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli, Arsenal fans could be in for a treat this season.
Ins—Marquinhos, Matt Turner, Fabio Vieira, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko
Outs—Alexandre Lacazette, Mateo Guendouzi, Nuno Tavares, Bernd Leno, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Omari Hutchinson and Auston Trusty.
Key Player—Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka is Arsenal’s crown jewel and his 12 goals last season—which made him the club’s top scorer—are proof of the youngster’s gifts.
The England international, widely rated as one of Europe’s young talents, will be keen to improve and produce more in the final third. He is critical in the Arsenal machine, and should provide the thrust and leadership Arteta’s team lost with Lacazette leaving.
Probable line-up against Crystal Palace (3-4-1-2)
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel; Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka; Odegaard; Martinelli, Jesus.
On paper, Arsenal look stronger this season compared to last. The additions of Jesus, Zinchenko, Marquinhos and Vieira are exciting and will lift the club to another level.
The new signings have filed some gaping holes in the squad, but with almost a full month of the transfer window left, a central midfielder arriving in the form of Youri Tielemans would be the cherry on the top.
If Arteta can rest his key players and rotate properly to avoid burnout in a season congested with fixtures, it will be tough not to back them from finishing in the Champions League places. Anything less than a top four spot will be framed as failure.