The start of a new Premier League campaign is almost upon us. Arsenal have played pre-season friendlies up to now, and to be honest there has not been as much reason for optimism on the field. There have obviously been some off the field moves such as the additions of Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac that are reasons for a positive outlook; however, we just have yet to show our true potential on the field. The pre-season has given us a chance to observe some of the youngsters and gauge the cohesion of lots of players in different positions. Some positives have been the performances of Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, and Krystian Bielik from the youth sides, but they have all been a bit inconsistent and our new stars have not exactly hit the ground running.
High Expectations for Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey has been the only player that has looked excellent in every single match, and this is the reason I am so excited for the upcoming season. When fit and in form, Aaron Ramsey is the single most important player to Arsenal’s success. I love Sanchez and Özil as much as the next fan, but no other player on our roster (and very few in world football) can provide everything that Ramsey does. The switch to the back three has given Ramsey all the freedom he needs to join the attack and combine with the front three. Many people reading this will say that I am jumping the gun due to the fact that Ramsey seems to get injured just enough every season to cost us points. Call me naïve but I really believe he will stay healthy this year. Wenger is being extra careful with his number 8, not playing him at all in the first game, and also bringing in Darren Burgess, the world-renowned high-performance coach. If his form and fitness levels throughout pre-season are any indication of what we can expect to see this season, then I believe we will witness one of the best seasons from a central midfielder in Premier League history.
There is still a lot of time left in the transfer window, and selling Alexis Sanchez would definitely curve my enthusiasm: but Wenger has repeatedly stated that he will not be sold and I am inclined to believe him. There is definitely still a bit of downsizing to be done in our squad, and hopefully, we will see one or two more signings, Thomas Lemar being an obvious expectation at this point. I personally agree with all of the fans that are begging for an addition in center midfield due to our long history of injuries as well as Coquelin, but I do not believe it would be detrimental if we do not get someone in for that role. The fact of the matter is that if Sanchez stays we have a starting 11 that is as strong as any in the division.
I may have set my expectations very high, but I believe we can win the Premier league. I definitely think we will return to Champions League football, and I also believe that Aaron Ramsey will be a strong contender for player of the year. This is my first piece, but most of my future writing will be analysing Arsenal matches, so please be on the lookout from @ArsenalInsider!