Arsenal

Joao Palhinha signs, Champions League success – Arsenal 2024 predictions

The January transfer window is now open, but how busy will Arsenal be? The Gunners had enjoyed an excellent 2023, until the year was soured somewhat by the ending on the pitch in the last couple of Premier League results.

Arsenal ended the year with back-to-back defeats in London derbies, losing 2-0 at home to West Ham after Christmas, before being defeated 2-1 away at Fulham on New Year’s Eve. That meant Mikel Arteta ‘s men did not finish the year top of the Premier League table, having narrowly missed out on the title to Manchester City in 2022/23.

So, what does 2024 hold for the north Londoners? We asked our football.london writers to gaze into their crystal balls

Tashan Deniran-Alleyne – Arsenal Writer
My big Arsenal prediction for 2024 is that the trophy drought will end. However, of the three possible trophies to win, I think a special night at Wembley Stadium on June 1 awaits this side as they seem better equipped to lift the Champions League than the Premier League.

Not taking Porto lightly by any means, especially as Mikel Arteta ‘s record in European knockout football is quite frankly very poor but I expect the Gunners to reach the quarter-final and if they can avoid Real Madrid and Manchester City over two legs, I back them to beat anyone in a one-off game, particularly at Wembley.

Whilst the FA Cup is a lottery and Liverpool at home is arguably the worst-possible third-round tie, that’s no excuse. Arsenal have to take every competition seriously to get their hands on a trophy and knocking out one of the favourites can only strengthen their belief of going all the way.

That said, I do think the Gunners will once again push Manchester City all the way in the Premier League title race only to come up short as runners-up. The reigning champions have looked vulnerable at times this season but with Kevin De Bruyne to return, that might be the difference.

In terms of transfers, this summer is the summer when a world-class striker arrives. My dream signing would be Kylian Mbappe but my feeling is Edu Gaspar triggers Victor Osimhen’s release clause in his contract at Napoli to take Arteta’s project to the next step. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko are no longer automatic starters come the start of the 2024/25 campaign.

Elsewhere, I think Aaron Ramsdale, Cedric Soares, Mohamed Elneny, Jorginho, Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey will all leave at some point in 2024 with Ethan Nwaneri, Myles Lewis-Skelly and Lino Sousa having more prominent roles in the first-team squad.

Tom Canton – Arsenal writer
I would love to say that my prediction is that Arsenal will win the league or the Champions League or even the FA Cup but that would go against my expectation that Manchester City remain favourites for all three. The juggernaut may have stalled somewhat like it did last season before the new year, but we know what they’re capable of.

I am however expecting Arsenal to put up a much tougher test than we did last season. Reinforcements in January have become a must and although it may require a surprise sale here and there, there is plenty of scope for this to happen.

For the summer, Arsenal have now entered the realm of £100million-plus signings. Therefore it wouldn’t be out of the realms of possibility for Victor Osimhen’s sizeable release clause to feature highly on Edu Gaspar’s wish list but I feel with needs in other key areas like defence and – in particular – midfield, it might be that an alternative is favoured instead with Dominik Solanke I expect to continue his fine form and therefore continue his impression on the Gunners’ recruitment staff.

Exits galore for the middle third are also expected. Thomas Partey, Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny I would be surprised to see in the 2024/25 season and that experience will need to be replaced.
Joao Palhinha is certainly a name that would recover some of those characteristics and the Gunners’ interest in him is well-known. There is also the likes of Jorrel Hato and Jeremie Frimpong to continue the trend started by Jurrien Timber in terms of a Dutch favouring in the market.

Aaron Ramsdale will finally leave to end his frustrations. As will a number of others like Charlie Patino, Reiss Nelson, Cedric Soares, Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos, Kieran Tierney, Nuno Tavares and Sambi Lokonga.

Kaya Kaynak – Chief Arsenal writer
My prediction may not be music to the ears of most Arsenal fans but I’m predicting a quiet January in the transfer window. I can’t see where they’re going to muster up the money to get a big deal over the line, and even if it’s a cheaper one, Mikel Arteta and Edu are smart enough not to know that a short term fix is not necessarily in the best long term interests of the club.

Maybe we’ll see a loan move with a view to buy. Arsenal have already done that with David Raya, but it’s about finding a player who the selling club are willing to let go on that basis. If they’re any good, generally the team offloading will want cash up front.

In the Premier League meanwhile I do think Arsenal will fall short. I think Manchester City and Liverpool have deeper and more varied squads. They can turn a game on its head in a way that Mikel Arteta can’t right now.

In Europe however, I’ve got a sneaky suspicion Arsenal could go quite far. Porto is a fortunate round of 16 draw and if they’ll fancy themselves against most of the historically big sides. Avoid Bayern Munich or Real Madrid in the quarters and maybe you’ve got yourself a good pathway to the semis.

In terms of youth products I think we could see Reuell Walters finally get given his chance to shine. Liverpool in the FA Cup means that could be hard, but he’s the one I’ve got the highest hopes for when it comes to making an immediate impact.

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