Dani Ceballos (r) (mid) Real Madrid – loan extension; Willian (mid) Chelsea; Gabriel Magalhaes (def) Lille; Pablo Mari (def) Flamengo – loan made permanent; Cedric Soares (def) Southampton – loan made permanent; William Saliba (def) Saint-Etienne – end of loan; Mohamed Elneny (mid) Besiktas – end of loan;
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (sp) (mid) Roma – loan made permanent;
Arsenal did well to finish last season with FA Cup triumph, which was clear proof that since Mikael Arteta took charge in late December things started improving slowly but surely for the Gunners.
There have been not many key changes in off season so far, with the transfer window now open until October and most teams expected to get properly busy with moves near the end of it. Still defenders Mari and Soares made their moves to Arsenal permanent and experienced winger Willian joined from Chelsea + talented centre-back Gabriel was signed from Lille for substantial fee. Also 19-year-old Saliba returned from successful loan spell in France and, after big money were paid for him last summer, this might be his first proper year at Arsenal.
Coach Arteta seems to prefer formation with 3 at the back, but he can be flexible too with Arsenal using 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 shapes often enough. What’s certain is that the army of talented teenagers will be getting plenty of chances to prove themselves under Arteta. This all good news for the likes of Wilock, Nelson, Saka and Nketiah.
The main strength remain the forward actions, which is hardly surprising considering that Arsenal have arguably the most prolific striker in the Premier League in their ranks – captain Aubameyang! Also in his second year at the club much better things are expected from Pepe and the Gunners shouldn’t have problems creating chances.
Influential Ceballos extended his loan stay at the club for another year and with him running things in midfield things should be much better. Still this remains area of weakness with Arsenal not having enough creative players in the heart of their team and relying heavily on Ceballos.
Not expected to have enough class to challenge for a top 4 finish, but higher point-tally compared to last season and much stronger run in Europa League achievable goals.