For the second consecutive season, Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League standings in the 2020/21 campaign. It means the Gunners will not be featuring in European competition over the next 12 months.
The minimum requirement next season will be for Arsenal to finish in the top six again. A push towards the top four is something Gooners will be demanding. For that to happen, here are three players who must deliver more.
With just one goal from his 37 appearances, Willian didn’t come anywhere near to delivering what Arsenal expected from him last season. The Brazilian has been one of the most consistent players in the Premier League over the last seven years for Chelsea. But he did not look a shade of that forward in his opening campaign as an Arsenal player.
Willian was signed by Arsenal on a lucrative contract so he must contribute more to the team. At the age of 32, he should still have the legs to deliver in the Premier League. Hopefully, he will feel like he has something to prove next season and we will see the best of him again. If things go the same way as they did last year, the club may look to offload him next summer.
Midfielder Thomas Partey is considered to be one of the best in the world in his position. When he signed for Arsenal in October 2020, it felt like it was a real coup for the club as other major European clubs were also linked with his signature.
Partey had a decent opening season in England but there is the feeling he is capable of a lot more. He has yet to score for the club, although his role in the team is to add some steeliness to the midfield, not to find the back of the net.
If Partey does improve on his debut campaign, Arsenal should also improve on the pitch. They are 11/8 in the Premier League betting for a top six finish next season. The Ghanaian can help them get off to a flying start and ensure those odds are cut following the opening few months of the season.
Given what he has achieved at Arsenal, there will be a few raised eyebrows at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s name on this list. The Gunners striker has scored 85 goals for Arsenal following his transfer in January 2018.
Last season was Aubameyang’s worst Premier League campaign since he moved to the club for a record transfer fee. He scored just 10 goals in the league in 29 matches. By his high standards, that was a total that was a long way short of what he is used to reaching.
Aubameyang is fully fit again now going into the 2021/22 campaign. As long as he stays fit and healthy, he should pass 20 Premier League goals again and that is surely going to help the Gunners pick up more points.