Preseason Predictions for Arsenal’s 2022-23 Season

At the time of publication, Arsenal kick off their 2022-23 campaign in just four days’ time. On Friday night, they will travel to Selhurst Park to take on a Crystal Palace side very much in the ascension. After a strong preseason showing, Mikel Arteta’s men look ready to take the new season by the horns.

Ahead of a promising season, Sash (@ltarsenal), Sham (@dopegooner), Semper (@SemperFiArsenal), and Evan (@afcevan) submit their predictions as to who Arsenal’s standout players will be and how their campaign will conclude.

Who will be Arsenal’s top scorer?

Sash: Gabriel Jesus. As long as he’s fit for 30+ games. No brainier for me, see him getting 15-20 PL goals easily. He has a point to prove and is entering his prime – beware, PL defences…

Sham: It’s hard to see anyone other than Gabriel Jesus walking away from the coming season with this distinction. Seven goals in five matches in preseason tells me that the Brazilian will be Arsenal’s primary goal outlet. And if his preseason form is any indication, he’s going to be a fairly good one.

Semper: Gabriel Jesus. I think this will be the most common answer amongst Arsenal fans. He is a brilliant striker and he fits into Arteta’s system perfectly.

Evan: Gabriel Jesus. I think Nketiah showed last season how effective a mobile striker can be in Arteta’s system and Jesus will thrive.

Who will be Arsenal’s top assister?

Sash: Gabriel Martinelli. His final ball is extremely underrated. Some people seem to think all he can do is run? Lol. He’s a top creator and we will see more of that this season.

Sham: For me, all signs point to Martin Ødegaard leading the way in this category. As the newly installed club captain, Ødegaard will feature often for Arsenal this season. Ahead of him is a much more dynamic front three, whose ability to press will put him in more advantageous attacking positions. I think he will build on the impressive creative numbers he put up last season.

Semper: With a good striker in place and someone who is good at scoring even when presented with half chances, I feel the player who will benefit the most will be Ødegaard. I feel this is the season he ends up with more than 10 assists.

Evan: Bukayo Saka. This one is a toss up between Saka and Odegaard but the way Saka can get in behind so consistently and find his man from the right swings it. Jesus is going to latch onto those far-post crosses and low balls across the box on a very regular basis.

Who will be Arsenal’s breakout player this season?

Sash: William Saliba. Well he’s established at this level, but people forget he’s still 21. Probably due to his maturity. I think he is going to be the revelation. In terms of the young, academy players, watch out for Charlie Patino!

Sham: Buckle in, everyone — Eddie Nketiah season is here. Arsenal’s new No. 14 made clear during preseason that his level has gone up and that he intends to make an impact. He will be an important piece this season.

Semper: Sambi Lokonga. One of the most underrated players in the team and misunderstood by a lot of fans.

Evan: Eddie Nketiah. If we don’t count last season as Nketiah’s ‘breakout’ season, I think he is the clear answer. Nketiah will surprise many this season, he is adding so many strings to his bow at a fast rate and will be a force. I would not be shocked at all to see Nketiah and Jesus starting together at some point this season.

Who will have the most appearances for the team?

Sash: Aaron Ramsdale. I personally don’t know enough of Matt Turner and I doubt Arteta will trust him when it comes to the Europa knockouts. We need Rammers to stay fit fingers crossed.

Sham: Ødegaard is my pick here. Last season, Bukayo Saka led Arsenal with 43 appearances. But Ødegaard wasn’t far behind with 40 games under his belt. Now that he’s captain of the team, I expect the Norwegian to lead his team out onto the pitch very often.

Semper: Ramsdale. If it’s an outfield player then it will be Saka as he is our best player and he is bound to start every game whenever fit/ready.

Evan: Bukayo Saka. Unfortunately currently it looks like we’ll have to be heavily dependant on Saka again. He is far too good to leave out of the Premier League squad and will undoubtedly play cup games should we go far in them. Competition/cover is desperately needed.

Who will be Arsenal’s signing of the season?

Sash: I said Gabriel Jesus will be our top scorer so he would merit that. In the dry striker market with inflated prices, what a steal he really is!

Sham: Honestly, Gabriel Jesus looks to have locked this one up already. He is a signing that solves so many problems for us. Unlocking the ability to press, increasing our goal output, giving us the opportunity to make an ungodly number of Jesus puns — these deficiencies and more have been resolved by the Brazilian. Jesus’ addition to Arsenal very well could be transformative.

Semper: Zinchenko according to me. A player who can play inverted and very good on transition and a player who is very good with passing/progression, he is an ideal LB in Arteta’s game plan and system.

Evan: Gabriel Jesus. The perfect signing for us. He will press, he will score, he will dribble, he will pass. It’s a signing that makes sense on every level and will be brilliant.

Who will be Arsenal’s biggest surprise?

Sash: Fabio Vieira. I think he’s not just a talent but a player who is going to show his class from DAY ONE. He’s got superstar potential.

Sham: Write off Sambi Lokonga at your own peril. Throughout preseason, the Belgian looked surprisingly adept in the left eight position. There will be a lot of minutes to go around, and Sambi will surely feature, especially in cup matches. This could be the season that he starts to lay claim to a key long-term role for Arsenal.

Semper: I think it would be Turner. Seen a lot of people saying he isn’t good enough to even be a part of the squad, but I feel he has the qualities necessary to be a vital part of the squad. Just like Ramsdale last season he has had a slow start but he will settle down soon and show his capabilities.

Evan: Fabio Vieira. Vieira’s injury seems to have massively taken him away from the spotlight but we can’t forget how exciting he is. Genuinely ridiculous numbers in Portugal last season and good experience in the UCL. My only hope is that he can stay away from the injuries, if so, I’m sure he will push Odegaard for that starting spot.

Where will Arsenal finish in the Premier League?

Sash: Well if everyone stays fit, I see us finishing 3rd. I think we are that good. The ceiling of this team is so, so high! In my opinion, we should aim to push City/Pool and not settle for 4th. Maybe I am getting ahead of myself a little, but I have no doubts on the talent of our squad.

Sham: I’m going to ride the high of preseason a little here and say we’ll finish third. Our technical quality has gone through the roof with recent acquisitions and returns, and we look hungry this season. Around us are teams dealing with uncertainty and the World Cup will take a toll. I think we’re in for a special season.

Semper: As things stand, 4th but we will be closer to 2nd than 6th.

Evan: Fourth. The quality is there and was there last season. It’s all about converting some of those draws into wins and some of those losses into draws (and wins). Injuries will of course play a role but the depth is certainly better. It will be a tough season, but I think we’ll finish in that top four by the end of it.