Arsenal are desperate to get into the Champions League in the 2022/23 season after narrowly missing out on the top four places in the last campaign. The exquisite signings this summer to add to the talented group of players bought last year have made the Gunners hopeful to finally reach their objective in the new season. However, Mikel Arteta’s men have to face some firm competition from rival London clubs who are also strengthening their team with ideal signings.
Last season review
It was a near miss for Arsenal last season to experience Champions League football after four seasons and it was making their own downfall. Following a forgetful start to the 2021/22 campaign in which they lost the first three games without scoring a goal and conceding nine, Arsenal sorted themselves out flourishing with a young crop of players to set their goal to return to Europe. Everything aimed in a positive direction until the team lost their fantastic rhythm at the tail end of the campaign allowing Tottenham, having struggled all season but had a strong end, to leapfrog them for the fourth spot. In the end, Arsenal finished fifth just two points off their desired spot. At least the Gunners will be able to play European football again, after a season absence, in the Europa League. There were positives to take from their performance though and with the squad having an average age under 25 it will be fascinating to see what they manage to achieve in near future.
Summer Signings & Contract Renewals
Seemingly one of the best purchases in this window has been done by Arsenal in bringing Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City to replace the departed Alexander Lacazette to Lyon. The Brazilian joined the club for a reported fee of $54 million. The striker cut ties with the blue shirts after a five-year stay that gave him four Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup three times. Jesus scored a total of 95 goals in 236 appearances for City but now he has found a place to be a marksman for the club without having to play a secondary role to adjust for others. For Arsenal, he is the missing piece of the puzzle for the team that will provide a considerable amount of goals from the number nine position something which the North London club immensely lacked last season to give them the cutting edge. Not only that, Jesus is brilliant in holding up the play, though not his main game, presses endlessly and is a versatile option to drop on the wings pivotal to Arteta’s tactics. The 25-year-old has already shown his brilliance in the pre-season games proving the fact that he will be no better fit at Arsenal.
The second key arrival was from Manchester City as well with the Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko penning a long-term contract at Arsenal worth $39 million. He can fill up the two areas of the pitch that lacked depth in the squad becoming the culprit for them moving out of the pace after injuries to midfielder Thomas Partey and importantly Kieran Tierney at left-back. Zinchenko has mostly been deployed as a left-back at Man City but contributed brilliantly from midfield while playing for his country. He will carry as much importance as Jesus in the upcoming season. Before their arrival, Arsenal had purchased talents like Fabio Vieira from FC Porto, Goalkeeper Matt Turner from MLS side New England Revolution after a deal was agreed in June and 19-year-old Brazilian Marquinhos arriving from Sao Paulo. In addition, William Saliba has been given his long-awaited license to be in the first team picture following a lauded loan spell at Marseille.
Staying with Marseille, there were also departures to the Ligue 1 side with midfielder Matteo Guendouzi making his loan switch permanent and Nuno Tavares also joining the club on loan. Lacazette’s move to Lyon as a free agent has been mentioned with goalkeeper Bernd Leno snapped up by promoted side Fulham to the Premier League. VfB Stuttgart of Bundesliga also made the loan of center-back Kostantinos Mavropanos a permanent move this summer. Two crucial contract renewals were made at Arsenal with Eddie Nketiah ending his speculation on his future by agreeing to a deal until 2027. Midfielder Mohammed Elneny extended his contract by a year with the option of a further 12 months for his reliability and availability to fill in the shoes of someone’s absence in the middle of the park.
Pre-season Results & Fixtures
3-5 vs Nurnberg (W)
2-0 vs Everton (W)
1-3 vs Orlando City (W)
4-0 vs Chelsea (W)
6-0 vs Sevilla (W)
Mikel Arteta’s men started their pre-season in a high-scoring affair against Nurnberg and registered a 2-0 win over Everton before they head to the US. The tour to the west was successful with a 3-1 over Orlando City but not as jubilant as the 4-0 thumping of city rivals Chelsea. Back in England at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal continued their ruthless scoring form thrashing Sevilla by six goals. Gabriel Jesus was the showman in almost all of these wins and is more than ready to spearhead the side to a successful season ahead.
Also Read | 2022/23 Premier League Season Preview: Liverpool
2022/23 Premier League Season Arsenal Fixtures
The start of the 2022/23 season will be a crunching one for Arsenal as they travel to Selhurst Park for the league’s first game against Crystal Palace. Last time, the Gunners were beaten 3-0 at a time when they were carrying a rich vein of form and continued to capitulate further after this. No better chance for them to start the new season with a bang by seeking revenge. On paper, Arsenal have an easy set of matches this month before the Old Trafford trip on the opening game week of September. The period that will Arsenal’s resilience is the beginning of October and the start of the new year oscillating the World Cup. The first North-London derby of the season falls on the 1st of October with they and Spurs sharing a win a piece in the fixture last season. Then a mighty challenge awaits at Anfield just a week after, a ground where they haven’t won a Premier League game against Liverpool since 2012. The defending champions Manchester City also make the trip to the Emirates Stadium this month. Arsenal will hope the latter part of the season comes to their aid as players recover from the World Cup fatigue to settle a place in the top four by the time they face Wolves in 2023 on the last day of the season.
05/08/2022 - Crystal Palace vs Arsenal
13/08/2022 - Arsenal vs Leicester City
20/08/2022 - Bournemouth vs Arsenal
27/08/2022 - Arsenal vs Fulham
31/08/2022 - Arsenal vs Aston Villa
04/09/2022 - Manchester United vs Arsenal
11/09/2022 - Arsenal vs Everton
18/09/2022 - Brentford vs Arsenal
01/10/2022 - Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur
08/10/2022 - Arsenal vs Liverpool
15/10/2022 - Leeds United vs Arsenal
18/10/2022 - Arsenal vs Manchester City
22/10/2022 - Southampton vs Arsenal
29/10/2022 - Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest
05/11/2022 - Chelsea vs Arsenal
12/11/2022 - Wolverhampton vs Arsenal
26/12/2022 - Arsenal vs West Ham United
31/12/2022 - Brighton vs Arsenal
02/01/2023 - Arsenal vs Newcastle United
14/01/2023 - Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal
21/01/2023 - Arsenal vs Manchester United
04/02/2023 - Everton vs Arsenal
11/02/2023 - Arsenal vs Brentford
18/02/2023 - Aston Villa vs Arsenal
25/02/2023 - Leicester City vs Arsenal
04/03/2023 - Arsenal vs Bournemouth
11/03/2023 - Fulham vs Arsenal
18/03/2023 - Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
01/04/2023 - Arsenal vs Leeds United
08/04/2023 - Liverpool vs Arsenal
15/04/2023 - West Ham United vs Arsenal
22/04/2023 - Arsenal vs Southampton
26/04/2023 - Manchester City vs Arsenal
29/04/2023 - Arsenal vs Chelsea
06/05/2023 - Newcastle United vs Arsenal
13/05/2023 - Arsenal vs Brighton
20/05/2023 - Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal
28/05/2023 - Arsenal vs Wolverhampton
How will Arsenal set up?
One thing is a surety that Mikel Arteta won’t be changing much on the team’s dynamics in his installed 4-2-3-1 formation with the signings being done on a clear strategy from the last season. It will be very much the same as last season albeit with more quality added this time around. Arteta may push his team to hold the ball a little more but looking at the pace up front with Gabriel Jesus making the constant runs-in behind, the counter-attacks will be likable. Gabriel Martinelli on the right and Bukayo Saka on the left will use their skills to beat their defenders from their flank with one of Martin Odegaard or Fabio Vieira or both will create the chances centrally. Jesus will also receive the allowance to do this bit around the box to construct and finish the attack for Arsenal. The preferred pairing of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey will command the midfield with Zinchenko making himself available there or shifting to the left-back position to cover for Kieran Tierney during his absence or otherwise. The right-back spot has been packed with four players available to fill in the role. Arsenal failed to agree on a transfer for Hector Bellerin after his loan spell at Real Betis so he along with Cedric Soares is now a backup option to first-choice Takehiro Tomiyasu. Even Ben White could move to the role to accommodate William Saliba at the center back for his great passing and dribbling ability. Also, Saliba is better than White in terms of winning duels aerially and also has the necessary pace for Arsenal to maintain a high-line. The interesting thing is it gives manager Arteta a variety of options to select his best or different eleven to choose from according to the opposition they face.
Prediction for the 2022/23 Premier League Season
As optimistic as fans are for the new signings to show their class on the pitch in the new season, no one will deny that Arsenal will have to face one of the toughest campaigns ahead not only in terms of the World Cup break but the equally impressive transfers their rivals are pulling off in the market. This all points to one thing, the top race once again going down to the wire. Chelsea have continued their spending even under new ownership but the concern is more on their North London rivals Tottenham who albeit in a poorer campaign finished above Arsenal to resurrect them to Champions League football. Spurs have gone on to make a catalog of signings after a long time with manager Antonio Conte fully able to take proceedings there. Then there is the unknown threat of Manchester United whether they languish in the Europa League spot or sprang up to life under new manager Erik Ten hag. Last time, Arsenal missed out on the top four chase by two points but now they cannot sustain any differences to hit the target they missed last season.