Arsenal aren’t wasting any time this summer. After already wrapping up deals for Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bernd Leno, they’re reported to be closing in on Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Lucas Torreira.
It’s a welcome change from previous years. They’ve tended to dally and delay, which has often left them going into the season without the players they need.
The club are adding depth and quality in defensive areas. And Torreira could be the holding midfielder they’ve been crying out for.
It also looks like Unai Emery will have most of his squad in place for a proper pre-season ahead of his first season in charge of the club.
Unlike their top-six rivals, most of Arsenal’s stars aren’t involved in the World Cup this summer. Only three Arsenal players have a chance of featuring in the last-16. And of those, only Granit Xhaka is a regular.
That could give the Gunners a welcome head start. They’ve got a daunting test against Manchester City on the opening day of the season, before facing Chelsea in their next game.
The champions are evens to win at the Emirates, but many of their best players could be in Russia for a while yet. That means they’re unlikely to be fully firing from the off.
Emery’s side should be better prepared for the opener. They’re 5/2 to kick-off the season with a win.
The North London club are a 25/1 long shot to win the title. A good start could make them begin to believe.
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