Gianfranco Zola: Why Arsenal can challenge Chelsea next season

Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola expects Arsenal to launch a Premier League title challenge next season

Gianfranco Zola believes Arsenal are capable of challenging Chelsea for the Premier League title next season.

The Gunner finished 15 points behind Jose Mourinho’s champions last season after the north London side paid the price for a slow start to the 2013/14 campaign.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly on the brink of signing Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech in an £11m deal ahead of the departure of Colombian shot stopper David Ospina.

And Blues legend Zola was impressed with Arsenal’s improved defensive record last season, adding that the Gunners can push Chelsea in next season’s title race.

“I know Chelsea are going to be strong – I have no doubt about that. I think the question is not what Chelsea can do, it’s what can the others do to challenge them?” Zola told Sky Sports News.

“City will be stronger next season but I’m expecting Arsenal to be more competitive as well. I thought in the second part of the season Arsenal were outstanding. They impressed with the way they were defending, something that was not their best point.

“Regarding Manchester United, we know the potential of the club. The point is I don’t know if they will be able to step up and improve the level of performance. They will be a good challenge for Chelsea as well but I think City and Arsenal will be more competitive.”

Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League title since Wenger’s famous Invincibles side stormed to the title in 2004.

The Gunners ended their nine-year trophy drought with the FA Cup trophy in 2014 after an extra-time win against Hull.

MORE: Read the latest Chelsea player tweets

The north Londonders successfully defended their cup crown with a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley in May.

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