Arsenal kick off the 2021/22 Premier League campaign on Friday evening as they make the short trip to newly-promoted Brentford.
The Gunners, who finished in eighth place last season, will be desperate to improve on what was a disappointing showing throughout last term and have the perfect opportunity to start well against the Bees.
In order to improve, Mikel Arteta and Edu have been usy in the summer transfer window – with three new signings arriving at the Emirates Stadium.
As well as the three signings already made, Arsenal will be desperate to keep Thomas Partey fit for the majority of the 2021/22 campaign, but that has not gotten off to a positive start.
The former Atletico Madrid midfielder, who arrived at the Gunners last summer on deadline day, will miss the start of the campaign after picking up an ankle ligament injury in the club’s recent pre-season friendly with Chelsea.
This isn’t anything new for Arsenal fans, who have already seen numerous injury problems for Partey in his short time in the Premier League.
If Arteta can keep Partey fit for the majority of the campaign, though, then the Ghana international could be an integral player for the north Londoners.
That’s the view of Jack Wilshere, who has tipped Partey to have a strong season for his old club.
The former Gunners star told talkSPORT: “I think Ben White is a good signing. They’ve added a new midfielder [Lokonga] who I like the look of.
“You’ll get a lot more from Thomas Partey this year, he had a season to settle.
“I loved playing with Laca [Alexandre Lacazette] and he’s a really intelligent player, but maybe they need a squad player who can get them some more goals.”
The view on Partey is one shared by his former Atletico team-mate Saul Niguez, who says his ex-colleague has been “unfortunate” in his time at the Emirates Stadium.
“I think he’s been very unlucky because of injuries,” Saul said in April earlier this year. “It’s difficult because he started pre-season with us and then he left without finishing it.
“He tried to play every game, he got injured, then he tried to come back before the correct time.
“Everything has been a bit unfortunate, but I think next season will be a great season for him.”