Arsenal kicked off the new season in real style yesterday, as they demolished current Premier League Champions Manchester City 3-0 at Wembley Stadium. The goals came from Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud, but new signing Alexis Sanchez stole the show. Arsene Wenger seems to have a new lease of life with the Gunners after the excellent FA Cup victory at the back-end of last season.
The penny seems to have dropped with Arsene Wenger. Over the past couple of years they’ve still been trying to promote youth rather than spending big, and losing all their star names to local rivals in the meantime. Now though, they’ve changed. Last summer they brought in Mesut Ozil, and this summer they’ve managed to land Alexis Sanchez. They also avoided selling their club captain Thomas Vermaelen, to Manchester United. Instead they forced him to join Barcelona.
This is a tough one with Arsenal, as they have an abundance of talent all over the squad. Their key player has to be Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman was on fire last season before he picked up a nasty injury, and if he can recuperate that form and back it up for the duration of the season, he’ll be regarded as one of the finest midfielders in the Premier League.
Alexis Sanchez – £30million (Barcelona)
Mathieu Debuchy – £12million (Newcastle)
David Ospina – £3million (Nice)
Calum Chambers – £16million (Southampton)
Bacary Sagna – Free Transfer (Manchester City)
Zach Fagan – Free Transfer (Welling)
Thomas Eisfeld – Undisclosed (Fulham)
Nico Yennaris – Undisclosed (Brentford)
Thomas Vermaelen – £15million. (Barcelona)
Last season’s Premier League finish: 4th
Predicted League Finish: 4th
Despite Arsenal’s big spending, I simply cannot see a case for them to break into the top three. Chelsea have made some huge signings, whereas Manchester City already have a title winning squad at their disposal. Manchester United finished seventh last season, but they look reinvigorated under Louis van Gaal, and they could sneak into third.