Mikael Silvestre thinks Arsenal could finally end Manchester City’s stranglehold on English football by winning the Premier League this season.
The Gunners have made a superb start to the campaign, winning six of eight league games while drawing the other two. They sit second in the Premier League, behind arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference.
Mikel Arteta made plenty of changes to his squad in the summer, bringing Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber, and goalkeeper David Raya to the Emirates. The Spanish coach has set about trying to lead Arsenal to their first league title since 2004.
Silvestre was hesitant to proclaim the Gunners as favorites for the title but he has talked up his former club’s title credentials. He told GGRecon:
“They could do it, but I’m not going to say they will win it as that would be a foolish thing to say when you consider how long the season is. They’re better equipped than they were last season, they’ve strengthened their squad in key areas and they have greater self-belief.”
The north Londoners’ signings boast plenty of experience, including Rice, 24, who captained West Ham United to a UEFA Europa Conference League triumph last season.
Silvestre also said:
“Last season they competed for the Premier League title with a young squad, but now they’re a year older and I believe the experience they’ve gained from last season will make them stronger as a group and in March and April, when the games become even more crucial, they will be better prepared to deal with the tougher tests that come their way.”
Arteta’s men missed out on the title to City by five points last season having held an eight-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side at the turn of the year.
Silvestre expects the title race to be closely fought again this time around:
“Manchester City have a team that knows how to go on a run of wins when they need them most. I know they lost to Arsenal recently, but they were missing some key players and I’m sure the title race will continue to be close between now and the end of the season.”
The north Londoners return from the international break to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday (October 21). They beat the Blues both home and away last season and will expect to continue their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign.
Arsenal’s David Raya admits he wants to play in La Liga
Raya has displaced Aaron Ramsdale as Arteta’s No.1 this season. The Spanish goalkeeper has made six appearances across competitions, keeping four clean sheets.
However, Raya has admitted he has a desire to play in La Liga. He said while on international duty with Spain that ideally he would win the title with Arteta’s side. He told the Athletic:
“I don’t like to look to the future, but the perfect end would be to win a title with Arsenal and to be called up to the national team for the Euros. Right now, I don’t have it [moving back to Spain] in mind. Would I like to play in La Liga? Yes, of course… but at the moment I’m at Arsenal, I’m very happy, and we’ll see what happens in the next few years.”
The 27-year-old was signed on loan from Brentford in the summer with the choice to buy for £27 million at the end of the season. Arsenal are expected to make the move permanent given he’s replaced Ramsdale in the sticks.