Arsenal have welcomed £200m of new talent this summer, including Declan Rice, and several of them could make their debuts on the opening weekend of the Premier League season

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Ex-Man City striker backs Arsenal to topple Pep’s men

Arsenal have set themselves a high bar after their impressive campaign last time out and will begin the new season against Nottingham Forest.

Mikel Arteta has transformed the feeling around the Emirates and optimism continues to rise with £200 million already spent on new arrivals, including the club-record capture of Declan Rice from West Ham, which further strengthens their hand.

The England international is set to make his Gunners league debut against Forest at the Emirates on the opening weekend and will provide greater assurance in midfield as they look to go one better in the quest for the title. Fellow new signings could also be thrown in, whilst some may be held back initially.

Three points will be a must for Arteta and co as they look to get off to a fast start like they did last term, when they won nine of their first ten games. We take a look at how the first starting XI of the year may look following some ins and outs in the red half of North London.

Aaron Ramsdale

Arsenal’s undisputed No 1 will continue to wear the gloves. Aaron Ramsdale was by no means the most popular signing when he arrived but, like several of his team-mates, has won over the fanbase and is now pushing to be England’s first choice such has been his consistency and quality.

Ben White

Moved to the flanks to accommodate his team-mates, Ben White proved to be a revelation last term, which was underlined by how many times he was selected. And despite the arrival of Jurrien Timber, the former Brighton man will have the chance to once again make the position his own.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 19: Ben White of Arsenal claps the fans after the MLS All-Star Game between Arsenal FC and MLS All-Stars at Audi Field on July 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images) Ben White has more competition for the right-back berth he thrived in last season

Gabriel Magalhaes

The Brazilian faces an uncertain time of it with Jurrien Timber arriving from Ajax for big money but against a lesser fancied side, who are not expected to contanstly pressure the backline, Arteta may be content to stick with the partnership that served him well last season. Timber could eventually come in, but may be eased into the role.

William Saliba

It fell apart when William Saliba was injured last season but his return, coupled with him signing a new long-term contract, will add huge confidence to the entire team. Established himself as one of the Premier League’s elite centre-halves last term and is set to get better and better.

Oleksandr Zinchenko

He’s been battling fitness issues and has a charity match shortly before the season opener but Oleksandr Zinchenko commanded the left-back role last term and, all things being well, Arteta will want to call upon him once more. Should he not be up to scratch then cover can be found, but the Arsenal boss will give Zinchenko every chance to make the XI.

Declan Rice

Arsenal fans will be purring at the prospect of Declan Rice playing at the base of the midfield. He has bossed games for the Hammers and, like Rodri at Manchester City, can play as a one-man midfield anchor, which frees Arteta up to unleash more attacking talent ahead of him.

Declan Rice is a major coup for Arsenal this summer Declan Rice is a major coup for Arsenal this summer

Kai Havertz is primed for a role in the middle of the park for the Gunners Kai Havertz is primed for a role in the middle of the park for the Gunners

Kai Havertz

A signing of intent from Chelsea, it is now up to Kai Havertz to show consistently what we’ve seen in moments previously. The German’s best years are still ahead of him and it is up to Arteta to find a position and a system that will get the best out of the talented playmaker.

Martin Odegaard

The talismanic captain enjoyed his best season to date last term, often standing up when his team needed him most. Despite the arrival of a new playmaker there is no doubt Martin Odegaard’s role at the Emirates and the Norwegian will continue to pull the strings.

Arsenal are likely to start with several new arrivals Arsenal are likely to start with several new arrivals

HAVE YOUR SAY! Where will Arsenal finish this season?Let us know in the comments

Bukayo Saka

Like so many of Arsenal’s players Bukayo Saka is coming off the best season of his career. The academy graduate continued to step up in big moments and has increased his output in the final third, coming up with regular goals and assists as his stock continues to rise.

Gabriel Jesus

He missed the second-half of last season when Arsenal collapsed but is undoubtedly the club’s premier striker, despite there still being questions over his ability to be prolific. Jesus was quickly able to make an impact last term and his combination with his wide forwards further adds to the team dynamic.

Gabriel Martinelli

Similarly to Saka, Gabriel Martinelli enjoyed his best 12 months last term as he continued to come up with big moments. The Brazilian has always been tipped for big things but hit double figures for the first time, scoring against Liverpool home and away.

Arsenal predicted XI for Nottingham Forest (4-3-3): Ramsdale; White, Gabriel, Saliba, Zinchenko; Rice, Havertz, Odegaard, Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.

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