Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere believes the Gunners will bounce back to finish in the European places next season – but he cannot see them breaking into the Champions League spots
Jack Wilshere predicts the Premier League top four will be unchanged next season – but he insists his former club Arsenal will push them close.
The Gunners ended a dismal 2020/21 campaign eighth in the table to miss out on European football for the first time in 25 years.
Mikel Arteta is desparate to bounce back and has signed defenders Ben White and Nuno Tavares as well as midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga for a combined sum in excess of £72million.
Wilshere believes Arsenal will recover to finish in the European places next season, but he cannot see them breaking into the Champions League spots.
Getty Images for Premier League)
” Manchester City will win it,” the former Gunners and England midfielder told talkSPORT . “I would prefer Man United to win it but I think they come second. Chelsea third, Liverpool fourth, Arsenal fifth and Leicester sixth.”
Explaining his predictions, Wilshere opened up on just how hard it is to come up against reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.
Adding to his worrying omen for City’s rivals, he declared “it’s over before we even start” if Pep Guardiola’s side secure the services of wantaway Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
The 29-year-old said: “I played against Man City so many times and it’s awful, it’s horrible.
“You can’t get the ball off them. Pep just gets them playing these little passes. If they get Harry Kane as well it’s over before we even start.”
Wilshere also believes Liverpool will improve thanks to the recovery of Virgil van Dijk from his anterior cruciate ligament rupture.
Despite tipping Chelsea to leapfrog the Reds into third, he said: “Liverpool will have a better season than last year because Van Dijk is back, but I just think Man City are just too good.”
Wilshere also threw down the gauntlet to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, telling him he must lead Manchester United to a trophy next season.
“[United] tried with [Jose] Mourinho to bring in that experienced manager who just wants to win, but he didn’t win,” said Wilshere.
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“I think Solskjaer has done well. But they have to win a trophy next season.”
There was no sign of Wilshere’s former north London rivals Tottenham in his predictions for the top four and Europa League spots.
Spurs host City on the opening weekend of the season, while elsewhere Manchester United face Leeds United, Chelsea face Crystal Palace, Liverpool travel to Norwich City and Arsenal open the season with a trip to Premier League new boys Brentford on Friday night.