Jolean lescott believes Arsenal can challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for the title this season and are the Premier League’s third best team.
Arsenal have so far beaten West Ham, Sheffield United and Fulham, with their only dropped points of the season the resounding defeat to champions Liverpool at Anfield.
And Lescott believes that Arsenal – who added Thomas Partey to their midfield on transfer deadline day – are a genuine threat to the Premier League’s top teams.
He told Ladbrokes: “At the start of the year I’d have said there’s only two title contenders, Liverpool and Man City.
“But both have proven they can be beat already. I honestly believe Arsenal can challenge for the title.
“If they can get through this weekend with a win, they have to be considered. I’d put Arsenal as the best team in the league behind Liverpool and City.
“The players believe in what the manager is doing, they have a clearer identity than the rest of the teams at the top, I felt that possibly wouldn’t have the right players to compete at the top but they’ve made some great signings.
“I didn’t actually see this coming for Mikel Arteta, really. In terms of his intelligence and his qualities of knowing the game, yeah, I’ve seen all that. But his impact, and how quick its happened has surprised me.
“I think that’s his personality, though. I know he’s a nice guy and that’s what fans and players buy into. When he first took over, even if you look at the defeats he had, it wasn’t the kind of defeats you were used to seeing with Arsenal.
“You could see what he was trying to do, it just wasn’t working. But now, there’s a genuine belief they can do it.”
Arteta has been linked to the Man City job having served as Pep Guardiola’s assistant for three years at the Etihad.
But Lescott believes he is now fully committed to the Arsenal project,
“I wouldn’t be worrying about Arteta going anywhere soon if I was an Arsenal fan,” Lescott added.
“I think if he’d have wanted to replace Pep Guardiola at City he’d have stuck around there for a while longer.
“He’s dedicated to Arsenal and he has a genuine relationship with the club having been captain. It would surprise me more than anything if he left to go back to City before he’d got Arsenal challenging for the title again.”