Arsenal ‘not far off’ Premier League rival, as pundit tells Gunners to land one star to catch up

Youri Tielemans battles Nicolo Zaniolo

Jamie O’Hara thinks Arsenal are closing in on Manchester City after a great summer transfer window, and the signing of Youri Tielemans could see them catch up.

Arsenal have spent around £120million to bring in five new players so far. They are Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner and Marquinhos.

Jesus and Zinchenko are the most impressive arrivals, having both come from City. Jesus got his first competitive goals for Arsenal in their 4-2 win over Leicester City on August 13.

The Brazilian forward didn’t add to his tally during the 3-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday. However, he put in some brilliant work in the build up to Martin Odegaard’s opener and set up the Arsenal skipper for their second. William Saliba rounded off the victory with a lovely sweeping finish into the top corner.

Zinchenko, meanwhile, has featured heavily in all three of the Gunners’ matches so far. Mikel Arteta is using him at left-back, with Kieran Tierney only managing late substitute appearances.

O’Hara thinks Arsenal are ‘not far off’ City and could cause them, as well as Liverpool, problems in the title race by bringing in Leicester’s Youri Tielemans.

“I think in terms of the midfield, definitely if they can maybe add one, like Tielemans or someone like that from Leicester. If they get someone in like that then you’re talking about a better squad,” O’Hara said during an appearance on Sky Sports (via the Daily Express).

“But if you look at the bench, the bench isn’t poor. [Eddie] Nketiah, [Emile] Smith Rowe, Tierney, who was one of their main guys last season who everyone was like ‘he should be the next Arsenal captain’ – he can’t get in the team.

Pundit backs Arsenal to be in title mix

“So I wouldn’t say they’ve got a weak squad, they’ve massively improved the XI. And now you’re seeing with Jesus, Zinchenko, with [Gabriel] Martinelli who looks like he’s really come strong.

“I think Arsenal are going to be right there. In terms of catching Man City, that’s the benchmark for everyone right now, I don’t think they’re there yet. But they’re not far off it.”

Arsenal are certainly looking like a force to be reckoned with in terms of the top four race. They have won all three of their league games so far, scoring nine times in the process.

Arteta’s squad has been improved by the new arrivals, as well as the return of French centre-back Saliba. And if they add Tielemans too, then they will get even better.

However, it might be a bit ambitious to say Arsenal can catch City and Liverpool this season. After all, there was a big gap between those two leading clubs and the rest last term.

Perhaps Arsenal will break back into the top four this campaign and then push for the title during the 2023-24 season.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have put a Shakhtar Donetsk forward on their transfer shortlist, according to a report.