The beginning of the new season is upon us, and it is that time of the year when fans like to take what they have learned from the summer transfer window and previous campaign and predict what lies ahead for their club. In that vein, I am joined ahead of the 2023/24 season by Sash (@ltarsenal), Semper (@SemperFiArsenal), and James (@afcjxmes) to give our thoughts on how this new campaign might turn out.
Who will be Arsenal’s top scorer in all competitions?
Sham: I think Martinelli is going to earn that honor this coming season. He is probably the best finisher at the club currently, and with Odegaard likely playing deeper than he did last last season because of Havertz’s presence, I just see the left-hand side being a touch more lethal than the right.
Sash: Gabriel Martinelli. I think he’s going to establish himself as a world class super star this season.
Semper: I am expecting Martinelli to continue his good form in front of goal and get a minimum of 20 goals in all comps this season.
James: I think Martinelli will be our top scorer in all comps because he’s the most clinical of our attackers and tends to find himself in the most dangerous positions. He was joint with Ødegaard last season but the latter will play a little deeper due to the change of system.
Who will be Arsenal’s signing of the summer?
Sham: My money is firmly on Timber. I think Rice will need some time to learn the six role he has come in to play and while I think Havertz will have a good season overall, I can see him having quiet games here and there. Timber though has only been here a month but has looked like Arteta signed him years ago. He has all the attributes to be a key player for us.
Sash: Hard to pick one. In terms of value for money, probably Timber. But I think Havertz will also surprise many with his ability.
Semper: I know a lot of people are excited with the players we have got in in the summer but my signing of the season is William Saliba. Potentially one of the best center backs in the world and we managed to sign him up and extend on a long term contract. Had he decided to leave or not extend we would have to spend at least 90 mil (Gvardiol money) on his replacement.
James: Signing of the summer will be Timber. We’ve already seen that he can play RB, LB and CB if required and his ability to play in tight spaces will be invaluable against low-blocks. Combine that with the price and it’s an unreal signing, truly.
Which player do you expect to be the biggest surprise of the season?
Sham: I’m very excited about a potential Smith Rowe resurgence this season. I know last season was pretty much a wash for him but this summer he has looked sharp, fit, and determined. It’s probably a make-or-break campaign for him, and he is just too versatile and hungry to not make an impact if he can stay fit.
Sash: I think Fabio Vieira is looking in good shape ahead of the new season and is ready to prove some wrong.
Semper: It’s definitely going to be Havertz. A player with immense potential and a player shoe-marked to start at LCM or behind the striker once he settles in. He has already shown glimpses of his talent during the preseason and Shield game and he is bound to get better with time as he is still not hit his prime.
James: Surprise star of the season for me will be Trossard. I think it’s pretty hard to put a name on this one because everyone has a role and our starting XI is pretty set these days but Trossard has shown he’s more than capable for this team and is a pretty hard player to drop these days.
Who will be Arsenal’s Player of the Season?
Sham: I would be quite surprised if it’s not Saka. He has always been someone who rises to a challenge and this season he will feature in the Champions League for the first time while potentially competing with multiple teams for the Premier League title. With him coming off 26 goal contributions last season, I think it’s almost a given he goes from strength to strength.
Sash: In terms of the player of the season, it’s really hard to say. There can be many top performers and this award is subjective based on fan votes. But if I am to put my money on someone, it’s going to be William Saliba.
Semper: I think it will be either Odegaard or Saka and I feel majority of the fans will agree with me on this.
James: Our player of the season will be Saka I think. Ødegaard won it last season despite it being incredibly close but I think Saka will come into his own as the star man. His output will match what we can all see and he’ll be credited for the superstar he is.
Where will Arsenal finish in the Premier League?
Sham: Look, I’ll say it: I think we’re going to do it. I think we’re going to win the league. There is so much quality and depth in our team now and Arteta is getting better and better as a manager. City seem to be in something of a transition year (although I still think they’ll be neck and neck with us). Everyone else seems a few steps behind us at the moment. I really like our chances of going all the way.
Sash: 3rd. I think we will struggle in the first half of the season and it will cost us the title. Sorry
Semper: At time of writing I think we will end up finishing second, first is also possible but there could be a period where we struggle since we have moved on from a Xhaka-Partey-Odegaard midfield to a Havertz-Rice-Odegaard one. If we have a very good start to the campaign like we did last season, we could genuinely win the league. Also feel we need another RW in the final few days of the window because we are short there but overall we have a much improved squad from last season and there is a reason to be very optimistic. To answer your question in short, top 2.
James: I’ll go for 1st. Call it blind optimism or not we pushed it so close last season and have sorted out the depth problems that cost us so dearly. Despite it not being much more than a glorified friendly I think the community shield has proven to these players that they can do it.
How will Arsenal do in the Champions League?
Sham: I have a good feeling about making a deep run in the competition, but I think we go out in the semifinal. A lot of players in this team have little to no experience in the Champions League and it will tell in the end. Maybe Real Madrid take us down, maybe Harry Kane haunts us one more time but for Bayern. There’s a few teams in it who will be a massive test, and this squad has shown us that sometimes they need to get knocked down first before they succeed.
Sash: I expect us to have a really good run. There are honestly not that many top, top teams so if we play to our potential we will go far. I think Arsenal are an unknown entity in Europe and that unpredictably could be the reason we surprise many. So I would say semifinals.
Semper: This is a tricky question. I think we will get eliminated in the quarterfinals stage.
James: Obviously it depends on who we come up against but I think we’ll get knocked out to some seasoned veterans in the quarterfinal or semifinal. The competition is unforgiving and our lack of experience at the highest level in Europe will be our downfall.
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