Nicolas Pepe (att) Lille; William Saliba (def) Saint-Etienne; Gabriel Martinelli (mid) Ituano; Dani Ceballos (mid) Real Madrid – on loan; Reiss Nelson (mid) Hertha Berlin – end of loan;
William Saliba (def) Saint-Etienne – on loan; David Ospina (sp) (gk) Napoli – loan made permanent; Petr Cech (sp) (gk) end of career; Stephan Lichtsteiner (sp) (def) released; Aaron Ramsey (sp) (mid) Juventus; Denis Suarez (sp) (mid) Barcelona – end of loan; Danny Welbeck (sp) (att) released; Takuma Asano (att) Partizan;
Arsenal showed very little improvement in the first season past Wenger’s era, with new coach Emery unable to find consistency and to resolve issues that have been with the Gunners in recent times. Ozil continued to decline and the German seems to be no longer a major factor, Emery also struggled to fit both Lacazette and Aubameyang on the pitch at the same time until the latter was moved to play wide on the left wing.
This is expected to be the case again, with Arsenal building a very strong front line if nothing else. The recent big-money transfer of right winger Pepe means that Pepe-Lacazette-Aubameyang front 3 is likely to cause havoc regularly.
Ceballos was loaned in to replace Ramsey in the heart of the midfield, where Xhaka remains a key figure, while young Guendouzi should be getting more and more involved with every passing month.
Arsenal’s major weaknesses last season remained the dreadful away form and the pathetic defending, with no transfer moves made so far to resolve the latter. In fact if as expected rebelling captain Koscielny leaves the back line will be weakened.
This means that only if the Gunners find a miraculous way to become more solid defensively they could realistically challenge the best teams in the land. Scoring goals at the other end shouldn’t be a problem.
Top 4 is the target and another year without Champions League football will be simply unacceptable from Arsenal’s point of view.