Arsenal 2019/2020 Season Preview: Strengths, Weaknesses and Key Man

By on September 16, 2019


The summer transfer window is already behind us and the 2019/2020 English Premier League season is already underway. As far as Arsenal is concerned, the fight for the top-four finish is on, and Unai Emery will be hoping to get the best out of his players in his second season as the club manager. But, how will Arsenal get on? Read on to find out everything you need to know.

Last Season

Arsenal finished the 2018/2019 season in fifth place missing out on a top-four spot that would have brought back Champions League Football to the Emirates Stadium. Their league form came in prolonged waves as defeats to Chelsea and Manchester City in their first two matches preceded a remarkable 14-game run without defeat.

However, they failed to maintain the momentum going into the second half of the season, which cost them many points. Although they looked like a highly disjointed team, they managed to keep a good run in the Europa League and reached the finals.

It was a long season for Unai Emery’s men, but there were plenty of highlights with the 4-2 win over Tottenham in December being the main one. Arsenal fans all over the world will be hoping for the best in the 2019/2020 season.

Arsenal’s Summer Transfer Window: New Arrivals

Arsenal had one of the most interesting transfer windows in England. Although many people expected the team to have a relatively quiet transfer window, because Unai supposedly had a meager £45m to spend on new players, it did not turn out that way.

Young Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli was the first signing for a reported fee of £8m. He was followed by the acquisition of midfield maestro Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid on a season-long loan. Thereafter, the team bought 18-year-old defender William Saliba from Saint Etienne who was loaned back to his former team.

But, this was just a tip of the iceberg. After failed attempts to lure Wilfred Zaha from Crystal Palace, the Gunners went out and acquired the highly-rated Lille forward Nicholas Pepe for a reported fee of £72m.

On the transfer deadline day, Unai improved his defense with the acquisition of highly-rated left-back Kieran Tierney from Celtic and David Luiz from Chelsea.

Arsenal’s Summer Transfer Window: Departures

The arrival of David Luiz from Chelsea was necessitated by the sudden departure of Laurent Koscielny who demanded a move to Bordeaux. There was also the departure of Aaron Ramsey to Juventus after running down his contract with the Gunners.

Alex Iwobi also joined Everton in search of regular playtime while Petr Cech and Stephan Lichtsteiner both retired. The other players who left the club include Danny Welbeck, David Ospina, Krystian Bielik, Carl Jenkinson and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.


The Gunners scored a total of 73 goals last year- the highest outside of title winners Manchester City and runners-up Liverpool. The clinical pairing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexander Lacazette scored 35 goals between them.

Throw in the 21 Ligue 1 goals that Nicholas Pepe managed to score for Lyon last season and it becomes clear that Arsenal is a deadly team in front of the goal. If Unai can find a way to get the talented goal creator Mesut Ozil included in the team; he can be sure that he has an attacking lineup that can destroy any defense in the world.


Although Unai may have a deadly attacking force, his squad still lacks depth in that area. Henrikh Mkhitaryan left the club to join AS Roma on a season-long loan leaving youngsters Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Martinelli as the only backup solutions out wide.

However, the biggest issue for Arsenal still lies in their defensive line. David Luiz has been slotted in to fill the gap left by Koscielny, but his track record of erratic defending will hardly help the team as has been proven by him conceding two penalties in the last three games.

Rob-Holding has still not featured this season while Sokratis is slow and old.  Kieran Tierney was bought to solve the fullback issue, but he is yet to play a match this season and Hector Bellerin is also lacking fitness.

Key Man

Although the arrival of Nicholas Pepe may take a few goals off Aubameyang, the former Borussia Dortmund man remains the key player at the Emirates Stadium. A last day brace saw him share the Premier League Golden Boot trophy between himself and fellow African superstars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

In fact, Arsenal’s ambitions this season are pinned to his form and his connection to Lacazette.  These two are among the most deadly striking partnerships in a league full of lone rangers.  Therefore, Unai Emery must be brave enough and start them together in most of the games to take advantage of their strengths.

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