Danny Murphy has tipped Arsenal to challenge for the top four of the Premier League next season, as long as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stays with the club and signings come good.
The Gunners beat Liverpool on penalties in the Community Shield on Saturday to get their new campaign off to a flyer.
Aubameyang scored in the 1-1 draw after 90 minutes with the forward also netting the winning penalty.
He is out of contract at the Emirates next summer and is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal in north London.
But with Arsenal looking organised under Mikel Arteta, and having brought in some new faces, Murphy believes the Gunners can challenge Manchester United and Chelsea in the race for the top four.
Writing for the Mail, former Liverpool ace Murphy put: “If they can add a few more signings, I think Arsenal can be dark horses for the top four.
“As it stands, they would cause teams problems but, as much as they would go on good runs, they are still vulnerable at times.
“Willian is a terrific signing, with his experience and winning mentality. Gabriel Magalhaes, the centre-back from Lille is nearly over the line.
Mikel Arteta gives Arsenal fans update on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's new contract
“If they can get Dani Ceballos back on loan — their best player at the end of last season — and sign Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid, who would give them crucial tenacity and physicality in midfield, I think they have a squad to challenge Chelsea and Manchester United for the Champions League places.
“Then again, none of that will make much difference unless Aubameyang puts pen to paper.”
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There is hope Aubameyang will sign a new deal after admitting it’s a good time to be with the Gunners.
After the win over Liverpool, he said: “We are improving and yes there is still work to do but we are really happy and it's a really exciting time to be at this football club.
“We will see [on a new contract]. We will see in the next few days. Today we take the trophy.”
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