Arsenal 2022-23 season preview – prediction, summer signings, star players

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Sports Mole takes an in-depth look ahead to Arsenal’s 2022-23 campaign, including predictions, summer signings and their star players.

A return to continental competition awaits Arsenal for the 2022-23 season, but it is not the tournament that Gooners had hoped their beloved side would be plying their trade in.

Mikel Arteta successfully navigated a return to the Europa League with the Gunners, who missed out on a Champions League place to Tottenham Hotspur on the final day, and waves have since been made in the transfer market.

Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko have signed from Premier League champions Manchester City, the signing of Fabio Vieira came out of nowhere, and pre-season was a wholly positive period.

Arsenal notably thumped Chelsea 4-0 in Orlando, which represented a fifth friendly win in a row before Brentford won a behind-closed-doors fixture at London Colney, and the Emirates Cup also belonged to the Gunners after a 6-0 romping of Sevilla .

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look ahead to Arsenal’s 2022-23 campaign, including predictions, summer signings and their star players.


FIXTURES

Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli in action against Sevilla on July 30, 2022© Reuters

As was the case in the 2021-22 season, Arsenal will once again be first up in the new Premier League campaign, taking on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on August 5.

A hectic October period sees Arsenal meet Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool in quick succession, while their Boxing Day battle is a London derby at home to West Ham United.

The Gunners kick off 2023 with another Emirates clash versus Newcastle United, and the second North London derby of the season awaits at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 14.

Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea are all waiting to pit their wits against the Gunners in April, and Wolverhampton Wanderers will visit the Emirates on May 28 in the final gameweek.

> Click here to see all of Arsenal’s 2022-23 fixtures


SUMMER SIGNINGS

Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring for Arsenal on July 30, 2022© Reuters

In
Marquinhos (£3.2m, Sao Paulo)
Fabio Vieira (£34.2m, Porto)
Matt Turner (£5.7m, New England Revolution)
Gabriel Jesus (£47m, Manchester City)
Oleksandr Zinchenko (£30m, Manchester City)

Out
Konstantinos Mavropanos (£2.9m, Stuttgart)
Alexandre Lacazette (free, Lyon)
Harry Clarke (loan, Stoke City)
Tyreece John-Jules (loan, Ipswich Town)
Jordi Osei-Tutu (undisclosed, VfL Bochum)
Daniel Ballard (undisclosed, Sunderland)
Matteo Guendouzi (£9.9m, Marseille)
Zach Swanson (undisclosed, Portsmouth)
Auston Trusty (loan, Birmingham City)
Nuno Tavares (loan, Marseille)
Arthur Okonkwo (loan, Crewe Alexandra)

Arsenal total spent to date: £117.4m
Arsenal total received to date: £12.8m

Arsenal net transfer balance: -£104.6m


SQUAD

Arsenal celebrate scoring against Chelsea in a pre-season friendly on July 23, 2022.© Reuters

Goalkeepers: Aaron RamsdaleMatt Turner, Bernd Leno, Alex Runarsson

Defenders: Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney, Ben White, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cedric Soares, Pablo MariOleksandr Zinchenko

Midfielders: Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny, Lucas TorreiraFabio Vieira, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Forwards: Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson, Folarin BalogunMarquinhos

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STRONGEST XI

ARS XI 2022-23


STAR PLAYER – Bukayo Saka

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka claps the fans on May 8, 2022© Reuters

Ever since that delightful curling finish against Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019, Bukayo Saka has been tipped for big things in North London, and the 20-year-old has not disappointed.

Recovering from his forgettable summer of 2021 would seemingly be a tall order for the youngster, but if anything, the Euro 2020 disappointment just seemed to galvanize Saka to take it up another level with Arsenal.

The attacker ended the 2021-22 season as Arsenal’s top scorer with 12 goals to his name – 11 of which came in the Premier League, including penalties against Chelsea and Manchester United – and he also set up seven top-flight goals.

With Saka’s contract due to expire in 2024, Arsenal are determined to tie their Hale End starlet down for longer, but Liverpool and Manchester City are said to be lurking if Champions League football continues to elude him.


MANAGER – Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta in charge of Arsenal on July 8, 2022© Reuters

Mikel Arteta may be the youngest manager in the Premier League, but he is ruling Arsenal with an iron fist. There is no room for sentimentality in the 40-year-old’s books, even towards those whom he used to share a dressing room with as a player.

Arteta laid down an early marker by ostracizing former midfield partner Mesut Ozil from the squad and did not think twice about stripping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captaincy following multiple disciplinary breaches, and such a ruthless approach is reaping rewards.

The Spaniard only wants to sign, start or bring on players who would lay down their lives for the shirt, and winning the FA Cup and Community Shield within his first few months in charge assured the Arsenal board that he was the right man for their long – term project.

Arteta has now taken charge of 130 competitive matches for the Gunners – winning 73 of them – and the Arsenal hierarchy rewarded his efforts with a new contract until 2025 earlier this year.


LAST SEASON – 5th

Arsenal players look dejected on May 16, 2022© Reuters

With no European football to juggle, optimism was high that Arsenal could finally break back into the top four in the 2021-22 season, even if they were dead last with zero points and zero goals by the end of August.

Arteta oversaw a stellar revival in the autumn months as Arsenal rose into the top four just before Christmas, and they were embroiled in a tense fight with Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers for that coveted fourth spot.

Wolves, Man United and West Ham soon fell out of the race, and Arsenal would remain in fourth place until the final two gameweeks of the season, but a pair of season-defining losses to Newcastle United and Tottenham handed their bitter North London rivals the initiative.

Despite putting five past Everton on the final day of the season, Arsenal appropriately settled for fifth-best in the division, meaning the familiar sight of Thursday night football in the Europa League will soon return for Gooners.

In the FA Cup, Nottingham Forest were not interested in Arsenal’s previous 14 successes in the tournament, as the Tricky Trees sent the Gunners packing in the third round by a 1-0 scoreline.

Arteta’s side would come close to ending their 29-year drought in the EFL Cup and even held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their semi-final at Anfield with 10 men, but the Reds proved too strong at the Emirates even Arsenal failed to add another trophy to their cabinet.


PREDICTION

Failing to regain a place in the Champions League while not having to juggle European and domestic commitments was undoubtedly a missed opportunity for Arsenal, whose task of challenging for the top four may only become harder in 2022-23.

Arteta and Edu have made some intelligent purchases in the transfer market, but injury woes are already presenting themselves in pre-season, and Thursday’s Europa League games are sure to have a knock-on effect for the Premier League.

With Manchester United already looking like a reinvigorated side under Erik ten Haagthe Red Devils could very well pip Arsenal to a top five place and force the Gunners to try to go all the way in Europe.

VERDICT: 6th


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