Graeme Souness thinks Arsenal are currently the “best of the rest” in the race for a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League.
The Gunners – who are fourth in the Premier League – finished a disappointing eighth last season as they failed to qualify for any European competition, giving them a potential advantage this campaign.
Fifth-placed West Ham are currently four points behind Arsenal with a game in hand, while sixth-placed Manchester United are five points adrift of Mikel Arteta’s side with two matches in hand.
After losing their opening three matches of the season to Brentford, Manchester City and Chelsea, the Gunners have won ten of their 15 Premier League games since.
That has catapulted them into contention for Champions League qualification but Souness thinks Tottenham and West Ham could challenge Arsenal and Man Utd for fourth position.
“Right now they’re [Arsenal] the best of the rest. The front three for me are considerably better than any of the other teams,” Souness said on Sky Sports.
“But I’m sat between Man Utd, Arsenal, Spurs, maybe West Ham will think they’d be in that argument as well.
“Fourth is within their reach [for Arsenal] but we’re only halfway through the season. They have to improve on their away form, that’s not good enough.
“We’ve seen when they went to Liverpool a couple of weeks ago that the level that Liverpool play at and where [Arsenal] are right now is considerably different.
“Yeah they have a chance of being fourth but Spurs will be in that argument, Man U will be in that argument, and West Ham I think can cause problems to anyone they play.”
🗣”They’ll never have an easier league game this year.”
Graeme Souness believes Arsenal could’ve easily scored six or seven goals in the first half against Leeds pic.twitter.com/z7hWDHEZ5x
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 18, 2021
On Arteta’s decision to strip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captaincy, Souness added: “That was a big moment for him. He’s a young manager and he’s put his foot down,” Souness added.
“Prior to today’s game they [Arsenal] had a poor record away from home.”
And Souness thinks the Arsenal supporters should be excited by the potential of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli after their 4-1 win over Leeds United on Saturday.
Souness continued: “They will take confidence. In Saka and Martinelli, they’re both 20 years older. They’re both direct, they’re both quick, they can only get better, barring they don’t get serious injuries.
“They’re special players. They’ll be a real asset to Arsenal. They’re two very promising young men.”