Speaking in his press conference ahead of the Community Shield clash with Liverpool on Saturday, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta expressed a large dose of confidence ahead of the upcoming season.
The Gunners have had an interesting summer so far. Their main priority remains binding captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new contract with his current one expiring next year, and that now seems to be very close to happening. Former Chelsea winger Willian has arrived on a three-year deal, and the arrival of defender Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille OSC is expected in the next few days.
Asked about the team’s prospects for 2020/21, the boss said there was still plenty of time between now and the end of the transfer window on October 6th, and it remains to be seen what the squad will look like then. But he also promised that whatever happens in the market, whatever players the club end up signing and parting ways with, the team would be fighting for the top.
Reminded that Willian had said he had joined Arsenal in the hope of winning the Champions League, the boss couldn’t help smiling, but he pointed out that the attitude displayed therein was the right one.
He also said that few teams have so far been aggressive in the market. Chelsea could probably be named as an exception in this claim, given that they’ve already secured the services of winger Hakim Ziyech, striker Timo Werner and left-back Ben Chilwell, as well as that they’re reportedly close to completing deals for centre-back Thiago Silva and attacking midfielder Kai Havertz. Meanwhile, Manchester City have signed winger Ferran Torres and centre-back Nathan Ake, and are apparently the first choice of destination for six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. On the other hand, champions Liverpool, for example, have done no more than to bring in Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos, addressing thus one of the problems they had last season through the lack of a natural backup option for left-back Andy Robertson.
The Premier League is likely to be a far more exciting contest than it was in 2019/20. Looking at it realistically, a top-four finish would be a great achievement for the Gunners under the present circumstances.
Where do you think Arsenal will finish in 2020/21?