Was This Season A One Off, Or Is Arsenal's Future Genuinely Bright?

Arsenal finished second in the Premier League this term...
08:00, 27 May 2023

Bukayo Saka’s new contract has allowed Arsenal fans to draw a line under this season and look forward to the future. Now their star asset is tied down for the long-term and the pain of losing this season’s title is starting to recede. It will take some while for them to fully get over this missed opportunity but this campaign has shown they are contenders again. 

But what does the future hold?

For some, this was Arsenal’s greatest chance at winning the Premier League title in recent times. Manchester City were not on top form, although they are set to finish on 90+ points yet again. Meanwhile, Manchester United are still trying to get back to their best, Liverpool have been way off it and Chelsea have been a laughing stock. None of the major sides have been at their best and it has meant that City have effectively strolled to another league title. 


So can Arsenal compete again next term when the big boys are likely to be back to their best? Chelsea should have a top manager in place, Liverpool desperately need new signings and United are just getting better and better. There’s an argument to be made that they may finish outside the top four again next term. 

But this season doesn’t look like being a one off. Arsenal have several elite level youngsters emerging and with this experience of a title run-in, they can compete with Man City once more. It’s easy to forget given the performances over the last month, just how good the Gunners were earlier in the season.

They were tearing teams apart on a weekly basis and quickly established an eight point lead at the top of the table. It didn’t last, but that doesn’t discredit the rest of their performances this term. Martin Odegaard proved himself to be captain material when there were questions over his appointment in the summer. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus both strengthened the team and now there looks to be serious ambition in the transfer market once again, with Ilkay Gundogan the next City star on Mikel Arteta’s wishlist. 


The manager too will have learnt from the run-in. His side became too emotional, and lost their way, but that is unlikely to happen again. But instead of shooting for the stars and falling short, Arsenal should focus on becoming the thing that Arsene Wenger was so derided for during the latter years of his tenure. Becoming a stable Champions League club, finishing in the top four every season. 

With that goal achieved this season, the Gunners can dream of European giants returning to the Emirates. That in itself can help them recruit new talent and they can now tempt some of Europe’s best with the promise of Champions League football. The financial reward that competition brings is sure to elevate them to the next level and if they can do that consistently, they can get back to being one of England’s great clubs.

Arsenal for so long were left frustrated by their top four finishes, yet after six years away, they can begin to plan for a brighter and richer future. This was not a one off for the Gunners and their young stars can carry them forward. With the riches of the Champions League to come, they could add genuine star quality to their starting XI.

Gabriel Martinelli, Saka and Odegaard can drag them forward for the next two seasons at least, and the building blocks are in place for Arsenal to compete in Europe and at home. This season may feel like a missed opportunity for the title, but the future is incredibly bright in the red half of north London. 

Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.