Danny Murphy has surprisingly stated that he’s backing Arsenal to surprise a few people in the 2021/22 season.
The Gunners look to be showing plenty of ambition in the transfer market, and also have the possible benefit of no European football to distract them in midweek.
We’ve seen Chelsea take advantage of this in the past, when Antonio Conte’s side ran away with the Premier League title in 2016/17, though Arsenal don’t really look like being close to that level just yet.
Still, Murphy can see Arsenal doing something in the season ahead…
“I’ve got a feeling and I don’t know where it’s come from,” Murphy said. “I think with no European football and it looks like they’re having a go in the market, I think Arsenal might surprise a few.
“Although they’ve got a tough start, I think some of their young players – Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, for example, are tremendous
“If [Thomas] Partey stays fit, we’ve seen glimpses of his ability. It could rest on [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang], he’s only had the one bad season.
“I think Arsenal might just surprise a few people but we’ve been wrong before about them.”
It does seem fair to say that Mikel Arteta’s side surely won’t be as bad as they were last term due to the new arrivals and the lesser fixture load.
It might not mean a title challenge, but it could be enough for the north London giants to challenge more strongly for a place in the top four again.