Arsenal in 2022: Young guns and shrewd summer signings can continue to grow - but will they land top four?

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·2-min read
Arsenal in 2022: Young guns and shrewd summer signings can continue to grow - but will they land top four?
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  • Arsenal
    Arsenal
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  • Emile Smith Rowe
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A year ago it was all doom and gloom at Arsenal, but now there is genuine reason to be excited for what 2022 could bring.

Over the past 12 months, the club’s youngsters have come on leaps and bounds and there is optimism about how much better they could be next year.

It was around this time last year that Emile Smith Rowe was just coming onto the scene and now he is a full England international. That shows how quickly these players can develop and it feels like Gabriel Martinelli is the next cab off the rank.

The absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has left a hole in the team and Martinelli seems suited to filling it. He offers pace and goals from out wide, which was Aubameyang’s calling card back in the day.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The core group of players put together by Arsenal last summer, which includes the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu, are only just getting to know each other and that provides yet more excitement. How good could they be with a full season under their belt?

Arsenal got their recruitment spot on last summer, opting for young players who can be developed for the future, and they must do so again in 2022. Planning for the long term is the only way to compete with the biggest clubs in England, who will always have first pick of the best players in the world.

Much of Arsenal’s business next summer will depend on how they finish this season and, right now, they are contenders to finish in the top four. That would be an incredible achievement and it still feels like a bridge too far for this current group.

The fact they have no European football will be a big factor, though, and we probably won’t see the impact of that until around March time. If Arsenal are still close to the top four then, they will fancy their chances.

The next year should be about Arsenal kicking on from the platform they are beginning to create under Arteta. A big part of last summer was tying down Kieran Tierney and Smith Rowe to fresh contracts and the upcoming one feels like an ideal time to reward Saka with a new deal. If Arsenal are to push forward with this policy of trusting youth, then they must show the youngsters why they should stay.

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