Gabriel Jesus can help Arsenal send knock-out blows to their big rivals but Mikel Arteta still doesn’t have enough for a top-four finish, says Ben Foster.
The Gunners have enjoyed a solid summer transfer window as they look to kick on following last season’s disappointment. While they got themselves back in the top-four Premier League race after a dismal start, Tottenham pipped them.
But Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has – like last summer – made his team one of the top flight’s biggest spenders.
Oleksandr Zinchenko and Jesus have joined from champions Manchester City. Indeed, Brazil striker Jesus is the marquee arrival not just for his £45million fee but also for his importance to the team.
Arsenal finally have a settled and long-term striker option after uncertainty over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
According to former Watford goalkeeper Foster, though, the north London club will still just miss out on the Champions League places.
They were struggling badly at the start of last season, it was a horrific start,” Foster told his YouTube channel. “It was horrible and Mikel Arteta was the favourite to get sacked.
“They kicked on but it was a disappointing end to the season as well. Looking at this summer, Gabriel Jesus is a massive signing, massive. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves.
“Arsenal have been crying out for that type of player and I think he’s going to do really well.
“I do think they’ll have a good season and win some big games against some big teams, but I think they’ll just miss out on the Champions League places.”
Arsenal involved in fierce battle
Arsenal have shown progress in the top-four battle, but next season could be the most competitive race yet.
Chelsea finished third last term, but inconsistency meant they ended up having to look anxiously behind them once or twice at the Gunners and Tottenham.
And all three have strengthened significantly. Chelsea, like Arsenal, have also raided City for Raheem Sterling.
Tottenham, meanwhile, have made six signings, with more potentially to follow.
Manchester United must also get a mention in the top-four battle. They have new manager Erik ten Hag in place and believes the only way is up after the sixth-placed finish in the last campaign.
As such, Arsenal could indeed have a tough battle on their hands to qualify for the Champions League.