Last season: 3rd
Key signing: Samir Nasri
Arsenal’s only big summer signing so far has been the capture of young French midfielder Samir Nasri from Marseille. Nasri will be capable of offering a great service on the right wing for Arsenal this season; something that Emmanuel Eboue didn’t last season. He has good pace and offers great technical ability and passing. Nasri was part of France’s dismal Euro 2008 squad. He should break straight into the Arsenal team and has to the potential to shine in the Premier League this season.
Key player: Cesc Fabregas
Now heading into his 5th season with Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas exploded last season, creating endless goals for Arsenal and adding a few of his own. The small, young Spanish midfielder, who was a big part of Spain’s Euro 2008 winning squad. Fabregas has amazing passing ability and great technique which is assisted with his good vision. He was the biggest reason for Arsenal finishing 3rd last season and no-doubt he will be their key man this season too.
Arsenal had a bad two month dip starting with an Eduardo broken leg and a 2-2 draw at Birmingham in February when they were top of the league. After a 7-game winless streak following that, the title race was over. Arsenal did suffer a lot of injuries to star players including Robin van Persie, Eduardo and Tomas Rosicky.
Emmanuel Adebayor hit an impressive 24 goals for Arsenal last season, not other Arsenal players even made double figures. The Gunners seem to be winning the battle to keep him which will be core to their title and European ambitions.
Under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have one of the best managers in the league. He has finished in the top two an impressive 8 times in his 11 seasons at the London club. But with big name players such as Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Aliaksandr Hleb leaving in recent seasons, it seems they are often unable to keep hold of the really big names, something rivals Chelsea and Manchester United very rarely have a problem with.
The loss of Aliaksandr Hleb will be a big one, having moved to Barcelona for £11,800,000 and it appears Arsenal once again lack strength in depth to mount a serious title challenge this season.