Arsenal 2021/22 preview: Transfers, key player, fixtures, new kits, prediction & more
It’s make or break time for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal this season.
The Spaniard has been backed in the transfer market (and they will likely be more arrivals after this article goes to print), the club have no Europa League distractions and he has had plenty of time to implement his philosophy.
If the Gunners do not show signs of improvement this season, Arteta is likely to be shown the exit door. Is that going to happen? We took a closer look at everything Arsenal going into the 2021/22 campaign to find out.
In: Ben White (£50m), Albert Sambi Lokonga (£15m), Nuno Tavares (£7m)
Out: Matteo Guendouzi (loan), William Saliba (loan), Dejan Iliev (loan), David Luiz (released)
1. Bernd Leno (GK)
2. Hector Bellerin (DF)
3. Kieran Tierney (DF)
4. Ben White (DF)
5. Thomas Partey (MF)
6. Gabriel (DF)
7. Bukayo Saka (MF)
9. Alexandre Lacazette (FW)
10. Emile Smith Rowe (FW)
11. Lucas Torreira (MF)
12. Willian (FW)
13. Runar Alex Runarsson (GK)
14. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (FW)
15. Ainsley Maitland-Niles (MF)
16. Rob Holding (DF)
17. Cedric Soares (DF)
19. Nicolas Pepe (FW)
20. Nuno Tavares (DF)
21. Calum Chambers (DF)
22. Pablo Mari (DF)
23. Albert Sambi Lokonga (MF)
24. Reiss Nelson (FW)
25. Mohamed Elneny (MF)
26. Folarin Balogun (FW)
28. Joe Willock (MF)
30. Eddie Nketiah (FW)
31. Sead Kolasinac (DF)
33. Arthur Okonkwo (GK)
34. Granit Xhaka (MF)
35. Gabriel Martinelli (FW)
Saka provided crucial moments last season / Pool/Getty Images
There was very little for Arsenal fans to get excited about last season. One of the only bright sparks in the entire squad was Bukayo Saka.
With most of the club’s senior players failing to take responsibility for their side’s terrible start, the burden of turning the Gunners’ season around fell to teenage sensation Saka. Regardless of where he was asked to play – he was deployed in six different positions in total – he consistently caught the eye and came in clutch on several occasions.
After an impressive Euro 2020, Saka should push on even more this term and his performances will be key to any potential success.
Young player to watch
Emile Smith Rowe got Arsenal fans excited with a string of encouraging performances last season and after they beat off interest from Aston Villa in the summer, he was even handed the number 10 shirt.
If Arteta does not get the creative midfielder he craves before transfer deadline day, Smith Rowe will be handed a lot of minutes this term.
21-year-old Nuno Tavares – a flying left-back signed from Benfica this summer – could be another youngster integrated into the first team.
Live TV broadcasts have been chosen for games up to the end of October, other dates and/or kick-off times after that point remain subject to change.
Friday 13 August – 20:00 – Brentford vs Arsenal (Sky Sports)
Sunday 22 August – 16:30 – Arsenal vs Chelsea (Sky Sports)
Saturday 28 August – 12:30 – Man City vs Arsenal (BT Sport)
Saturday 11 September – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Norwich City
Saturday 18 September – 15:00 – Burnley vs Arsenal
Sunday 26 September – 16:30 – Arsenal vs Spurs (Sky Sports)
Saturday 2 October – 17:30 – Brighton vs Arsenal (Sky Sports)
Monday 18 October – 20:00 – Arsenal vs Crystal Palace (Sky Sports)
Friday 22 October – 20:00 – Arsenal vs Aston Villa (Sky Sports)
Saturday 30 October – 12:30 – Leicester vs Arsenal (BT Sport)
Saturday 6 November – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Watford
Saturday 20 November – 15:00 – Liverpool vs Arsenal
Saturday 27 November – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Newcastle
Tuesday 30 November – 20:00 – Man Utd vs Arsenal
Saturday 4 December 2021 – 15:00 – Everton vs Arsenal
Saturday 11 December – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Southampton
Tuesday 14 December – 19:45 – Arsenal vs West Ham
Saturday 18 December – 15:00 – Leeds vs Arsenal
Sunday 26 December – 15:00 – Norwich vs Arsenal
Tuesday 28 December – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Wolves
Saturday 1 January – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Man City
Saturday 15 January – 15:00 – Spurs vs Arsenal
Saturday 22 January – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Burnley
Tuesday 8 February – 19:45 – Wolves vs Arsenal
Saturday 12 February – 15:00 – Chelsea vs Arsenal
Saturday 19 February – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Brentford
Saturday 26 February – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Liverpool
Saturday 5 March – 15:00 – Watford vs Arsenal
Saturday 12 March – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Leicester
Saturday 19 March – 15:00 – Aston Villa vs Arsenal
Saturday 2 April – 15:00 – Crystal Palace vs Arsenal
Saturday 9 April – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Brighton
Saturday 16 April – 15:00 – Southampton vs Arsenal
Saturday 23 April – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Man Utd
Saturday 30 April – 15:00 – West Ham vs Arsenal
Saturday 7 May – 15:00 – Arsenal vs Leeds
Sunday 15 May 2022 – Newcastle vs Arsenal
Sunday 22 May – 16:00 – Arsenal vs Everton
Home: Strong Ajax vibes with splashes of navy blue.
Away: A classy yellow number inspired by the strip worn during the 1970/71 double-winning season.
Third: A 1990s throwback featuring lightning bolts.
Arsenal are not done in the transfer window, but even if they do manage to get hold of the attacking midfielder they crave we do not think they have anywhere near enough to trouble the top four this season.
A battle for the Europa League places awaits the Gunners then, and although their lack of Thursday night football will make things easier to handle, Leicester look good enough to retain their position as fifth-placed bridesmaids.
This means it’s a north London showdown for the final Europa League spot and we’re narrowly predicting a well-organised Tottenham side to beat Arsenal to that prize – provided they keep hold of Harry Kane.
However, we do fancy Arsenal to have a deep run in one of the cups this season. With no European football to contend with they will not need to rotate in these competitions and should put in a strong showing.
7th in the Premier League and an FA Cup final.