by Lewis Ambrose

Arsenal impressed during pre-season but talk is still largely dominated by transfer rumours.

However, one Arsenal legend is already impressed by the Arsenal squad and expects the Gunners to challenge this season. Double winning captain Frank McLintock told talkSPORT that he expects Arsenal to push the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United much closer than in previous seasons.

“It is the strongest squad I have seen Arsenal have and I think they are going to go much closer than they have before,” McLintock said.

Though titles have been won before it is hard to argue that this really is the strongest squad that Wenger has had. The Arsenal manager is sending Wojciech Szczesny out on loan in goal because of competition and has eight senior defenders at his disposal.

Attack-minded midfielders are, as ever, a hug part of the squad and options going forward are far from scarce. As the season begins Wenger’s biggest problem may be selecting an XI and an 18 to make the match day squad.

“In the last nine years I’ve felt Arsenal were a long way from winning the championship,” McLintock added. “But I think this is the closest they have been. The whole squad looks much stronger to me.”

A lot is being expected of this Arsenal side and we can only hope they deliver. Competition with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City will be tough with those sides also building impressive squads, but it is plain to see that Arsenal are in a better position to win the league than they have been in a long time.

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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil