Graeme Souness rates Arsenal’s title chances under Mikel Arteta
Graeme Souness plays down Arsenal's chances of winning the Premier League title
Graeme Souness has dismissed Arsenal’s chances of winning the Premier League title this season.
The Gunners are looking to secure a long-awaited return to the Premier League’s top four this season following a lack of Champions League football in the last four campaigns.
Arsenal enjoyed a revival under Mikel Arteta in the second half of the 2019-20 season after the Gunners won the FA Cup crown thanks to a 2-1 win against Chelsea FC at Wembley.
Arteta has signed Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes and Chelsea FC winger Willian in the 2020 summer transfer window along with Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari on permanent deals.
Arsenal finished 43 points behind Premier League champions Liverpool FC last season to highlight the gap between the two top-flight rivals in the Premier League last term.
Former Liverpool FC captain Souness doesn’t believe that Arsenal can challenge Liverpool FC and Manchester City for the Premier League title in the current campaign.
“Arsenal are nowhere near challenging for the Premier League,” Souness wrote in his column for The Times.
“They finished eighth, 43 points behind Liverpool, last season, and that’s not a gap that you close in one transfer window.
“The knockout tournaments are again their best chance of success this season. Trying to retain the FA Cup, a decent run in Europe and maybe the Carabao Cup.
“I’ve always been a fan of Willian and have no fears that he still has a couple of years left at the highest.
“The hardest players to get are the ones that score and create goals, but Arsenal have plenty of attacking options.
“Willian, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are backed up by talented youngsters like Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah. Keeping Aubameyang is a huge boost.
“He was entering the last year of his contract, so they would have sold him at a discount and received nowhere near enough to buy a replacement of a similar standard.
“I still see a player in Nicolas Pepe, too, and I’m hoping he has a big year because he’s not really grasped the intensity and physicality of the Premier League yet.
“I also like the look of Bernd Leno, their goalkeeper, but none of their midfielders or back four would get anywhere near the Manchester City or Liverpool team, hence the points difference between them in the final table last season.”
Arsenal finished in eighth place in the Premier League table last term to end up behind Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Gunners eased to a 3-0 win against Fulham in their Premier League opener at Craven Cottage to prompt talk of a potential title challenge for Arsenal this term.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has committed to a new long-term deal to give the north London side a boost for the 2020-21 Premier League season.
The Gunners will host Sheffield United in their fourth Premier League fixture of the 2020-21 campaign on Sunday.