Rio Ferdinand believes that the 2022-23 Premier League title race between Arsenal and Manchester City is as good as done. He has predicted the former to win their first English top-flight title since 2003.
The North London side currently sit at the top of the league table, with 50 points from 19 matches. Defending champions Manchester City are second, trailing the Gunners by five points, having played one game more.
Mikel Arteta’s side have strengthened their squad in the just concluded January transfer window. They brought in the likes of defender Jakub Kiwior, forward Leandro Trossard and midfielder Jorginho to the Emirates Stadium.
The Cityzens, on the other hand, only signed young midfielder Maximo Perrone while losing key defender Joao Cancelo (loan) to Bayern Munich.
Speaking on the FIVE YouTube channel, former Manchester United defender Ferdinand shared his thoughts on the Premier League title fight this season. He said:
“I think it’s a wrap. I’ve got to be honest, I do. No matter what results Arsenal get against Man City, I still think Arsenal have enough confidence, quality and calmness to take the title.”
Ferdinand’s former teammate Patrice Evra has also backed the London giants to win the Premier League title. He told Betfair:
“Even if Man City beat Arsenal in both matches in the Premier League, they still have a chance of winning the title if they are strong mentally. I don’t agree with Roy Keane and Gary Neville, I don’t think City will win the league, I think Arsenal will win. The way they are playing consistently, I don’t see that with City.”
The Frenchman added:
“I feel like Guardiola is still looking for something, that perfect combination. When you have a team like Arsenal, desperate to win the league, you can’t waste any time. City are City and if I was Arsenal, I’d prefer it if it was another team chasing them down. You have to respect City and be careful of them.”
The Gunners face relegation-fighting Everton on February 4, while Manchester City travel to Tottenham Hotspur the following day.
“He still has the hunger and huge willingness to contribute here” – Mikel Arteta explains why Arsenal signed Jorginho
Mikel Arteta needed midfielder reinforcements in the January transfer window. A knee injury is expected to keep Mohamed Elneny on the sidelines for a long time. Youngster Albert Sambi Lokonga, too, has failed to impress the manager in the few chances afforded to him.
A lack of solid backup options for first-choice midfielders Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey saw the club unsuccessfully place multiple bids for Brighton & Hove Albion’s Moisés Caicedo.
On deadline day, the Gunners pulled off a shock move for Chelsea’s vice-captain Jorginho. Speaking about the Italian midfielder’s acquisition, Arteta said (as quoted by the Mirror):
“Jorginho is a midfield player with intelligence, deep leadership skills and a huge amount of Premier League and international experience. Jorginho has won in his career, but he still has the hunger and huge willingness to contribute here.
“We are so pleased to sign Jorginho and welcome him and his family to the club.”