Arsenal head into the 2023/24 campaign looking to go one better, after finishing second to treble-winners Manchester City last season.
Mikel Arteta’s charges enjoyed a fine season as they made the transition from top four challengers to genuine title contenders, before eventually running out of steam and being pipped by an inspired Man City side.
We've taken a look at Arsenal’s chances heading into the new Premier League campaign…
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Manager: Mikel Arteta
Captain: Martin Odegaard
Top league scorer last season: Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard – 15
Last season’s position: 2nd
Arsenal led the way for much of the 2022/23 Premier League season with Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus providing a formidable four-pronged attack.
They even safely negotiated the injury of Jesus for a couple of months of the season, as the likes of Eddie Nketiah and January signing Leandro Trossard stepped up to the plate.
But after seven straight wins between February and April, Man City were still hanging on to their tails, despite fighting on three fronts.
The size of Arsenal’s squad was ultimately their downfall as key players lost form, plus the fact that most of the squad had never been in that position before no doubt had an impact.
Two goal leads were thrown away at Liverpool and West Ham, before a 3-3 draw at home to Southampton handed the initiative to the Citizens ahead of the Etihad meeting between the two teams.
City ran out comfortable 4-1 winners and never let up during the run-in.
Arsenal did manage to beat Chelsea and Newcastle in the following games, but a 3-0 defeat to Brighton followed by a 1-0 defeat at Nottm Forest sealed the title for City.
Arsenal have addressed their squad depth issue by making three significant acquisitions during the summer.
Versatile Dutch defender Jurrien Timber, who can play at centre-back or right-back, has joined from Ajax for an initial fee of £34 million to provide competition for the likes of Ben White and Gabriel.
Kai Havertz has joined the club from London rivals Chelsea on a five-year-deal and, like Timber, time will tell on where the German international fits into Arteta’s team.
He was predominantly used as a striker at Chelsea last season, but it has been suggested that he may be used in a deeper role for Arsenal, possibly as part of a midfield three.
At the base of the midfield will be fellow new signing Declan Rice, who has joined from West Ham after ending his time with the Hammers by lifting the Europa Conference League trophy.
Rice could be the final piece of the jigsaw for Arsenal this season, and in many other Premier League eras, the Gunners would head into August as favourites for the title off the back of last season and this summer’s transfer business.
But this is not a normal era and Manchester City, who boast arguably the greatest side in Premier League history, will take some beating again.
Finishing second again looks realistic for Arsenal, even with the teams around them strengthening, but toppling the Citizens might be a step too far.
Former captain Arteta was appointed as Arsenal manager in December 2019, after a spell as coach under Guardiola at Man City.
Silverware followed at the end of his first season as a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang double helped Arsenal to beat Chelsea and win the FA Cup for a record 14th time.
Arteta’s first full season was one of disappointment, however, with some Gunners fans calling for his dismissal after finishing eighth and missing out on qualification for Europe the following season.
Key signings were made ahead of the 2021/22 season in the form of Ben White, Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale, but after being in pole position for Champions League qualification heading into the spring, Arsenal lost six times in 11 matches to hand North London rivals Tottenham fourth place on the final day.
The opinion of Arteta amongst the Emirates faithful was transformed last season, and with key acquisitions made this summer, there is growing fan belief that he is man to lead Arsenal back to the summit of the Premier League.
Still only 21, the maturity and self-belief that Saka has shown since his penalty shootout miss in the final of Euro 2020 has been staggering.
After netting 11 times in the Premier League the following season, Saka enjoyed his best season to date last year, scoring 14 goals to boost Arsenal’s title challenge.
His performances on the international stage have also been particularly impressive in the last 12 months, including his first England hat-trick in this summer’s European Championship qualifier against North Macedonia.
While the focus will initially be on the performances of new signings Timber, Rice and Havertz, the form of Saka will be crucial to another Arsenal title bid.
The trajectory of Saka’s career suggests that he can become one of the best players in the world in years to come, and given his development in the last two years, that could be sooner rather than later.
Arsenal’s number nine could be considered an obvious One to Watch, but given his injury-disrupted campaign last year, there is a sense that Jesus’ Arsenal career is yet to take off.
Jesus found the net 11 times in the Premier League last season but his momentum was halted for a couple of months following some impressive performances.
The Brazil international often came too deep to receive the ball last year, with the midfield duo of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka possibly lacking the instinct to play the killer ball.
If Jesus is more reluctant to get involved the build-up and plays within the width of the posts instead, he has the capability to double his tally in 2023/24.
With Rice and Havertz now on board, he should have the freedom to do just that.
(4-3-3): Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Rice, Odegaard (c), Havertz, Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.
Arsenal's opening six Premier League fixtures are as follows:
12th August 2023 – Nottm Forest (H)
21st August 2023 – Crystal Palace (A)
26th August 2023 – Fulham (H)
3rd September 2023 – Man Utd (H)
16th September 2023 – Everton (A)
24th September 2023 – Tottenham (H)
Odds correct at time of publishing and subject to change.