Could next season’s title be decided by Man City or Arsenal having the best midfield?

The Premier League title race last season was between Arsenal and Manchester City. The Citizens won it, but everyone knows Arsenal was the better side of the two, topping the table for 248 days.

Next season, the title race may still be between the two sides, but clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United, and even Chelsea may do what’s necessary for this transfer window; they shouldn’t be taken lightly.

There’s been so much talk about how Arsenal will manage to get the better of City in next season’s title race, but of all the conversation, one thing could decide who will be better.

Whoever unleashes the strongest and most efficient midfield could easily be the favorite for the 2023–24 title race.

By now, it is evident that both Guardiola and Arteta are keen on revamping their midfield; they may all field new midfield setups.

Man City will likely lose two of their finest midfielders, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva (who PSG want as Lionel Messi’s replacement). Mateo Kovacic is tipped to join, but Guardiola knows he will need more to fill the gap left behind by the two midfielders. According to different reports, he wants Declan Rice, but the 24-year-old is Emirates bound. Whoever City signs after Kovacic may be intriguing, as it could give them an edge in the title race.

As for Arsenal, the message is clear: Arteta is overhauling his midfield. There was talk of two marquee midfielders being signed, and now we’ve been made to believe Declan Rice, Romeo Lavia, and Kai Havertz (who may find himself playing the playmaker role) could be the players to take the Gunners’ engine room to the next level. Like Guardiola, Arteta will likely lose his two top midfielders, Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka.

Could we end up with a better midfield than Man City?


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Tags Man City Partey Xhaka


  1. Xhaka’s and Partey’s departures would be a big loss for our squad. Unfortunately, they’re not getting younger and need to be replaced

    Ornstein just confirmed about Havertz’s transfer medical test and hopefully Rice/ Lavia will follow soon. They would need time to adapt to Arteta’s system, so it’d be better if they join us this month

    Based of some analyses and Havertz’s role in his recent club/ international matches, I think he’ll start ahead of Jesus in the false-nine position. It’d be interesting to see how Jesus would perform if he gets assigned on the left wing

    1. Gai,
      Jesus and Havertz don’t have Matinnelli pace for left wing. I think Arteta should use Havertz for his best skill set which is AM. In my opinion Trossard remains our best false 9 so far he doesn’t score much but has a deceptive moves that makes other attackers score goals. That accounts for his many assists last season. If Xhaka and Pathey leaves and Arsenal can bring in RLavia and DRice the team midfield should be fine.

      1. Sylva, I think Smith-Rowe, Vieira and Trossard will compete for Xhaka’s role, but Havertz could also play there

  2. We can’t forget about United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle. Depending on who they sign they, some or one could challenge as well

  3. In my opinion next season battle is still between MCity and Arsenal. Then, MUnited and Liverpool. Others will battle from 5th place-7th. Liverpool finished last season great and MUnited has a very good coach they can only get better. It’s ManCity, Arsenal, MUnited and Liverpool to compete for Top4
    Chelsea Pochentino and Spuds new coach would be building something new next season might too soon for their team to blend perfectly. New Castles in my opinion would be found out this season.

    1. Can’t see Spurs finishing in the top 6 to be honest although their coach is potentially underrated and could spark another season out of them. Long term they have massive issues.

      Liverpool should be a title threat again with decent recruitment and less injuries. Wouldn’t count them out yet. Big year for them though miss CL again next year and then their wage bill which is gigantic compared to ours will really start to bite.

      Chelsea could be a major top 4 force but doubt they have a title challenge in them until things are more settled. Depends how quickly Poch finds a team that works and how quickly the dressing room can be settled otherwise another year without CL. Not going anywhere long-term either though unless things going spectacularly wrong with their recruitment.

      Newcastle are a wild card but think they hit a ceiling that will be hard to better even with smart recruitment next year. Scary force in the coming years after though just think they’ve hit that transition point which may take a season or 2. Like us probably a bit ahead of schedule.

      Man Utd were very much flattered by results this year and have a way to go with the takeover causing issues in their recruitment I wouldn’t be surprised to see them miss top 4 and doubt they can challenge for a title. Will be a force going forward with or without CL though.

      In any order
      Then Newcastle/Chelsea/United/Brighton depending on who clicks the most. With Brighton being just as much a threat as the others imo and probably the best chance they’ll get at hitting that target looking at the other large clubs.

      Spurs may well miss Europe again and could be the beginning of the end for them as a big 6/7 club. Even if they click next year it looks tough for them going forward unless their recruitment is perfect.

      If you pushed me to predict exactly it would be
      Man City
      Chelsea (go straight to 4th if they start well with Poch though)
      Man Utd

      Actually think it’s one of the most interesting seasons in a long time particularly with City revamping their midfield. Lots of questions to be answered and likely lots of eggs on faces for predictions.

      1. Angus, overall, a very decent post . But I am prepared to bet huge money, several thousands in fact, with anyone at all who honestly thinks United will be as low as seventh and will take my bet


        Top four for certain IMO and probably higher.

  4. As to the question if we will have a better midfield, the answer is no. Look at the levels of quality and production.

    Odegaard has been immense, but KDB is the best, period.

    Rice will improve us, but Rodri is the best DM.

    We can definitely improve our midfield, but as long as City field KDB and Rodri, they will have the best midfield.

    1. I think Odegaard has been good but Saka, Martinelli and Partey have been better and carried the team for most of the games. Unfortunately if you finish the season in poor form you miss on the awards which is the reason Saka came second on our player of the season. We definitely need a more influential player on the Odegaard role. The way KDB and Barella dominate games as a 10 is missing in our team. In most of the games we have been under pressure Odegaard is always substituted as he goes missing the way Ozil used to do.

      1. City is getting kovacic.. a quality addition to their already sublime midfield architecture. He will cost just 30 million pounds!!!… Imagine.?? Am surprised that he could be bought for such a ridiculously low fee and we are trying to get hervartz for 70million. My stance on rice still remains. He is a decent player but the English media hypes him up to be the next kante. Selling partey and xhaka in the same window leaves us short on experience in the midfield with only viera- elneny- lokonga available ( Grade B level at Best). Now we will need more than rice to make that midfield strong. Arsenal should go for onana and Ivan toney or else, We fans are in for a torrid campaign.

        1. Kovacic is 29 so won’t have much resale value. He also didn’t cost that much and was approaching the final year of his contract.
          Having said that he is probably an underappreciated midfielder.
          Harvetz is a different type of player. It is also more difficult to assess his value to a team given what we have seen of him at Chelsea so far.

  5. Sources have told ESPN that West Ham are keen to explore a deal for Rice with City that would see Kalvin Phillips move to the London Stadium.

  6. If I was a betting man I would say top 4 at a push ,we won’t have an easy season like the last one and teams like Chelsea Liverpool and man Utd that all have very good to world class managers won’t be such a push over this time around .
    Will be interesting to say the least I just hope we don’t bottle it again if the time arises .

  7. It isnt and wont be a two horse race and if we sell Partey, we definitely wont have the best midfield.

  8. As I said in a different article, selling both of them is a mistake [Partey and Xhaka], keep one of them and go after Kessie (Barca already found themselves a replacement).

  9. NO,

    Because Arsenal will be very lucky to make the top 4 next season.

    This might be the WORST transfer window Arsenal have had for a long time.

    Havertz, really, instead of Caicedo and possibly Rice.

    Whatever Arteta and Edu are drinking, someone please take the bottle away!!!!

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