2016/17 season preview: Arsenal

323px-Arsenal_FC.svgIt has been over 12 years since the Gunners last got their hands on the Premier League trophy and after finishing second last season, can the Gunners go one better this year and win a 14th top-flight title?

Manager: Arsene Wenger
Home ground: Emirates Stadium
Last season: 2nd
Best EPL Finish: Winners (1998, 2002, 2004)

Star Player

Alexis Sanche scored 13 goals in 30 league apprearences last season image: eurosport.com

Alexis Sanchez scored 13 goals in 30 league appearances last season
image: eurosport.com

Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez did not enjoy the best of seasons in his career last season but the new Arsenal number seven did show glimpses that he is still Arsenal’s main man and if he avoids injury, he could lead Arsenal to a first Premier League title in 13 years.

When he hits top form, he is unstoppable and enjoyed a great start to the season with a brace against Man United and a hat-trick against Leicester. He had a downturn in form after an injury in the middle of the season, but returned to his best in April by scoring in six straight games.

Sanchez has got great energy and skill and will cause any defender problems with his wicked pace down either wing, and will also be a threat from set-pieces. Sanchez is no doubt Arsenal’s key man and fans will hope he will continue to bang in the goals this season.

Key Transfers

IN

Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach – £35m), Rob Holding (Bolton – £2m)

OUT

Wojciech Szczesny (Roma – Season loan), Issac Hayden (Newcastle – Undisclosed), Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky (both retired), Mathieu Flamini (released)

One to Watch

Last season saw the emergence of 20-year-old winger Alex Iwobi into the first team at Arsenal and the young Nigerian will be hoping to continue to impress boss Arsene Wenger  and become a key part of the Gunners season.

Alex Iwobi made 13 first team appearances for the Gunners last season image: telegraph.co.uk

Alex Iwobi made 13 first team appearances for the Gunners last season
image: telegraph.co.uk

Iwobi made an instant impression in his first Arsenal starts against Everton and Watford last season with two goals in two games, as he wowed fans with his speed and skill down the right-wing with his hard work and determination seeming to be paying off.

This season will be a make or break for Iwobi as he will hope to keep Theo Walcott out of the side and prove that he is destined to become an Arsenal star. He will need consistent performances and keep on improving to make sure he is on that teamsheet every week.

Best XI

Cech

Bellerin   Koscielny  Gabriel   Monreal

Xhaka   Ramsey

Walcott         Ozil        Sanchez

Giroud

Prediction: 4th

Arsenal beat rivals Tottenham to second place last season image: arsenal.com

Arsenal beat rivals Tottenham to second place last season
image: arsenal.com

Arsenal showed glimpses last season that they have what it takes to be title challengers in the Premier League but with Man City, Chelsea and Man United getting much stronger over the summer, I don’t think the Gunners can match them this season.

Mesut Ozil is another key man along side Alexis Sanchez in the attacking line with 19 assists from the German last season, while Aaron Ramsey will be hoping to build on his impressive Euro 2016 campaign for Wales with a strong display for the Gunners.

34-year-old goalkeeper Petr Cech will hope to build on his impressive debut season at Arsenal but his defence in front of him is a worry. They won’t be title challengers but I still think they are stronger than the likes of Liverpool and Spurs to bag a top four finish.

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