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Arsenal head into pre-season with revenge on their minds as Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber look set to join Gunners revival

Bynewsmagzines

Jul 12, 2023
Arsenal head into pre-season with revenge on their minds as Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber look set to join Gunners revival

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Given just how close they came to Premier League glory, Arsenal are set to head into pre-season hungrier than ever.

The Gunners kick-off their summer schedule of fixtures away to FC Nurnberg in Germany on Thursday, one of five matches in the coming weeks.

Arsenal were close to winning their first Premier League title since 2004

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Arsenal were close to winning their first Premier League title since 2004Credit: Getty
Arteta will be ready to inspire them once again

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Arteta will be ready to inspire them once againCredit: Getty

Mikel Arteta’s side led the Premier League title race for most of the season and many believed they would go on to lift the trophy.

But ultimately they fell short, with Manchester City becoming champions en route to winning the treble.

Considering how well they performed, Arsenal will be confident that they can go one step further in the new campaign.

They are by no means the finished package but their summer recruitment so far will help guide them to their desired destination.

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Just the one signing has been officially complete so far with Kai Havertz making the move from London rivals Chelsea.

The German, who scored the Blues’ Champions League final winner in 2021, signed in a £65million deal after three seasons at Stamford Bridge.

Although he is mostly a forward, Arteta has hinted that he could play in midfield, especially now that Granit Xhaka has left for Bayer Leverkusen.

However, the Gunners are set to make another addition in the middle of the park with West Ham superstar Declan Rice close to a move.

Havertz is Arsenal's first signing of the summer

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Havertz is Arsenal’s first signing of the summerCredit: Getty

The 24-year-old is on the verge of completing a transfer worth up to £105m with add-ons after shining for the Hammers.

City also held an interest but are set to lose out, and West Ham legend Kevin Nolan has incredibly high hopes for the England star.

“I don’t want to lose him, I would never want to lose him because of the way he drives everything in training everyday – I would never say this lightly, but he is the closest thing I’ve seen to Steven Gerrard on a football pitch,” he told talkSPORT.

“You [Danny Murphy] played with him [Gerrard], I didn’t have the opportunity, but Dec’s attributes, his key attributes and I feel that there’s still loads to unravel.

Rice could be destined for big things at the Gunners

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Rice could be destined for big things at the GunnersCredit: Getty

“Now I’m not saying he is Gerrard, before the Liverpool fans start having it with me, but I’m just saying with the way he can just glide past players.

“The way one minute he’s there, the next minute he’s gone, the way he can play a defensive role, the way he can then go and move into an attacking role, and we haven’t seen that attack mind of him yet.”

At the back, Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is also expected to complete a switch to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal are confident of completing a £40million deal to add competition at centre-back for Gabriel and William Saliba, who recently signed a new deal until 2027.

Saliba's fresh deal has been hailed like a fresh signing in itself

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Saliba’s fresh deal has been hailed like a fresh signing in itselfCredit: Getty

With big money being spent, it is now time for the Gunners to back up their ambition with silverware.

Pre-season fixtures will give them a great opportunity to get some momentum going, starting with Nurnberg.

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MLS All-Stars, Manchester United and Barcelona are their opponents in the United States, with a home test against Monaco taking place before the Community Shield against City.

Their Premier League campaign will kick-off at the Emirates Stadium against Nottingham Forest, ironically the team they fell to defeat against to lose last season’s title.

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