Arsenal issued with bleak prediction by Graeme Souness ahead of Premier League opener

Arsenal won’t challenge for the Premier League title or finish in the top four, according to Graeme Souness. The Gunners endured a turbulent start last season under Unai Emery but turned a corner upon Mikel Arteta’s arrival and went on to win the FA Cup as well as the Community Shield.

The north Londoners have also been very active during the summer transfer window as they got Willian as a free agent and beat some of Europe’s heavy hitters for Lille ace Gabriel Magalhaes.

Arsenal have been tipped for a far more successful campaign but Souness is not yet convinced as he doesn’t expect them to challenge the likes of Liverpool or Manchester City in any way.

The Reds legend also thinks Arteta’s men will miss out on Champions League qualification once more as he expects his former club to retain the Premier League title with the Citizens, Manchester United and Chelsea completing the rest of the top four.

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Souness wrote in his column at The Times: “As it stands, Liverpool are the favourites for the title, but I don’t see them running away with it again. I would have loved to have seen Lionel Messi come in at Manchester City.

“I expect a bigger challenge, though, from United and Chelsea this time. United will be better with Donny van de Beek, but the goalkeeping situation may be an issue.

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“Chelsea have signed well, but let’s see how quickly Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz settle in.

“Arguably the best striker of the Premier League era, Thierry Henry, initially found it difficult.

“Beyond that, I don’t see a title challenger. People are making noises about Arsenal, but I don’t see them being strong enough.

“If you’re asking me now, that’s my top four for next May: Liverpool, City, United and Chelsea.”

Arteta is determined to turn Arsenal into the strongest possible squad ahead of their Premier League opener on Saturday against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

That is why the Spaniard brought William Saliba back from loan at St-Etienne and handed contracts to Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari.

The ex-City assistant manager also re-signed Dani Ceballos on another season-long loan from Real Madrid following an impressive debut campaign in the Premier League.

Arsenal are now determined to tie down last season’s top goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new deal and are keeping tabs on Atletico Madrid star midfielder Thomas Partey.

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