By Jack Gillespie
While the Gunners have been vacuuming up every pre-season trophy under the sun, much of the talk off the pitch has been on transfer gossip.
Although there seems to be a universal feeling of joy and optimism amongst Arsenal fans, many are still hoping to see at least one last addition to the squad before the transfer window comes to a close.
However, the players who have the biggest impact on a club’s season don’t always come from pastures afar. Here are the three current Arsenal players who I think will explode this season.
Despite oozing quality in his first two seasons at Arsenal, injuries have prevented Özil from featuring in the club’s side for large periods of its 2013/14 and 2014/15 campaigns.
But this season could be different. The 26-year-old has completed his first ever pre-season with the Gunners – missing out on such an excursion could be seen as hell for any professional player’s body – and is rapidly adapting to the bullish nature of the Premier League.
With excellent fitness levels going into the season, a selection of speedy players to ping through balls to, and an ever-improving squad to play in, you can expect Ozil to finish top of the assist table next season. He’ll probably score a few too.
Prepare to witness what a team can really achieve with Europe’s best No 10 off the treatment table for a full season. It’s going to beautiful.
I’ve not enjoyed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s presence in Arsenal’s team over the last few years.
Although he has bags of potential, his style is very reliant on him being the one who produces moments of magic – a dazzling run the length of the pitch or a wonderstrike from outside the box – but these things don’t often come from inexperienced players.
But I think this could be the season where that changes.
The 21-year-old, who will turn 22 later this month, has started to mature into the player we all hoped he would eventually become. He looks stronger and hungrier than ever before. His speedy runs have now transformed into powerful drives through the heart of opposing teams.
I’ve always thought that if the English midfielder could get himself a run of goals, he’d be a real threat for the rest of the season.
He’s already scored a fantastic goal against Chelsea to win us the Community Shield. A few more early on in Arsenal’s campaign, and Alex could go on to achieve great things this season.
Arsenal’s young right back was plunged into the deep end at the start of last season.
Injuries to Mathieu Debuchy forced Arsene Wenger to call upon the then 19-year-old for some big Champions League and Premier League clashes.
Despite having a poor start, Hector quickly adjusted to life in Arsenal’s first team, and the Spain Under-21 defender has never looked back.
Now that the youngster has familiarised himself with his teammates, you can expect to see big things from him this season.
Hector’s attacking play has always been superb, but given that he’ll now likely feature as the club’s first choice right back for the majority of this season, you can expect to see a variety of quality assists – and a few goals, too – from Bellerin in the coming months.
Not only that, but increased first-team exposure can only mean improved defensive capabilities. I’m feeling extremely confident Bellerin will have our right flank covered this season, and I can’t wait to see what he helps the club achieve.