Season preview: Arsenal

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Arsenal news, season preview: The 2020-21 Premier League season is almost here and our season previews will give you all of the information you need to know about each of the 20 PL clubs.

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This is our Arsenal season preview, as you can click on the link above to find out exactly how you can watch every single Arsenal game live in the USA across our platforms at NBC Sports.

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Okay, time to focus on the Gunners…


Arsenal

2019-20 finish: 8th (14W-14D-10L, 56 points)
Head coach: Mikel Arteta
2019-20 PL top scorer: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (22 PL goals)
Location: North London


ProSoccerTalk’s key topic on Arsenal: Can they improve defensively?

Despite their lowest Premier League finish in 25 years, there is optimism around Arsenal as they won the FA Cup and FA Community Shield and secured a string of impressive wins against Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool across multiple competitions in recent months. The Gunners have shown an extra grit since Mikel Arteta arrived in late December and now it’s all about one thing: can they stop making silly mistakes at the back?

Arsenal Aston Villa reaction
(Photo by Rui Vieira/Pool via Getty Images)

The key to their FA Cup win and big victories in the Premier League was improved defensively solidity. There were still mistakes but the bend but don’t break style was clear for all to see, especially in a 3-4-3 formation, but 4-3-3 was used a lot too. With Aubameyang leading a talented group of attackers and plenty of youngsters showing great promise, Arteta knows he needs his defenders to stand tall. With some key additions in that area over the summer, he is finally addressing the key problem Arsenal have had for most of the last decade: a soft underbelly, defensively.


Arsenal news: The current situation

Coming off their lowest finish in 25 years, as they finished eighth last season (lowest finish since 1994-95 – 12th). Fired Unai Emery in November 2019 (Mikel Arteta was then appointed in December). This is Arteta’s first job as a manager but the season was somewhat salvaged as they won a record-extending 14th FA Cup in August (beat Chelsea in final), then beat Liverpool to win FA Community Shield to kick off 2020-21 season in style.


Key Arsenal news, season objectives

  • FA Cup win means that Arsenal will be playing in Europa League in 2020-21, as they’ve qualified for the group stage.
  • Looking to get back into top four. Finished outside top four in each of last four seasons (last top-4 finish: 2015-16)
  • Mesut Ozil situation still not sorted, as he didn’t play a single minute during ‘Project Restart’ and his future is unclear.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said to be close to agreeing new contract, but no confirmation yet as he has less than one year remaining on his current deal.

Transfers in

  • Willian: Acquired on a free transfer from Chelsea (won 5 major trophies in 7 years at Chelsea) and the winger provides incredible experience.
  • Gabriel Magalhaes: Arrived permanently from Lille for $33 million, the Brazilian center back is a rising star and will provide extra solidity.
  • Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares: Loan moves were made permanent this summer as another center back and right back were added.
  • 19-year-old defender William Saliba: Will join Arsenal this season. Acquired last summer for $34 million from Saint-Etienne (then sent back on loan to Saint-Etienne)

ProSoccerTalk’s prediction for Arsenal in 2020-21

If Arsenal can continue to improve defensively and keep that knack of somehow grinding out clean sheets they will be in the top six. If they can do it on a regular basis and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stays at the club then they will challenge for the top four. Mikel Arteta has totally changed the way they play, as they build from the back and then press high when they’re further up the pitch. They now have extra experience too and that. will help the talented youngsters develop quicker.

Willian to Arsenal
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Watching Arsenal is now like watching a “Man City Lite” and Arteta has changed their philosophy in a matter of months. They’re on the right path and if they don’t finish in the top four this season, you can guarantee they will be close. More success in the FA Cup and Europa League is also possible as Arsenal are as good of a ‘cup team’ as you get in the Premier League.