Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards has said that Arsenal can challenge for a top-four spot this season.
The Gunners last finished in the Champions League places in the 2015/2016 campaign and finished outside the top six altogether last term after parting company with head coach Unai Emery.
Victory in the FA Cup final ensured European football will be at the Emirates Stadium this season and the club backed manager Mikel Arteta in the summer transfer window.
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As many as five new faces arrived, including the likes of Thomas Partey, Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes
All three featured as the Gunners were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City on Saturday evening, with Raheem Sterling netting the only goal of the game at the Etihad Stadium.
The result means Arsenal still haven’t won away at one of their ‘top six’ rivals since 2015, but Richards did spot a few things that should give fans a reason to be optimistic under Arteta.
“They were well-drilled,” Richards said on Sky Sports. “If you look at Arsenal over the last couple of years, you didn’t know their shape.
“At least now, they’ve got a shape, they’ve got a structure, everyone is buying into what Arteta is doing and it’s great to have Thomas Partey coming on, you can just see different pictures and where people are going to be plugging holes.
“I’m genuinely excited for Arsenal, I don’t believe they’re ready to challenge for the title yet, but I think top-four is a realistic aim for them this season.”
Richards then highlighted two chances missed towards the end of the first game that sums up the difference between Arsenal and Man City.
With the score at 1-0, Ederson saved from both Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang which turned out to be the Gunners’ best hope of salvaging a draw.
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