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Premier League 2019-20: 3 reasons why Arsenal won’t finish in the top four

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The Premier League came to a halt owing to the coronavirus pandemic and although Liverpool are all but certain to win their first league title in over three decades if the league resumes, the race for the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot is expected to go right down to the wire.

As many as six teams, separated by just eight points, are in the battle for a top-four finish. Arsenal are currently ninth in the Premier League table with 40 points from 28 games, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, who have played a game more.

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Ever since Mikel Arteta assumed the managerial role at the Emirates, Arsenal have looked a different side. Arsenal are the only Premier League club who are yet to taste defeat in the league since the turn of the year.

Despite the improvements, Arsenal might not be able to finish in the top four in the Premier League this season.

The north London giants face stern competition from Chelsea, Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur in their pursuit of a top-four finish which will enable them to play in the Champions League next season.

Here are three reasons why Arsenal will not finish in the top four:

#1 Leaky defence

Arsenal's defence has let the team down on numerous occasions.
Arsenal have struggled to keep clean sheets this season. (Image Credits: Goal)

It’s no secret that Arsenal have a porous defence which has let the team down on multiple occasions this season. The Gunners, who have conceded 36 goals in 28 league games this term, presently have a goal difference of +4, the least among the top nine teams in the Premier League.

Although things are getting better under Mikel Arteta, Arsenal are still short of quality options on the defensive front. The whole back-four have to play out of their skins if they want to finish in a Champions League qualification spot.

Arsenal have too many problems at the back and it is unrealistic to expect Arteta to plug all the holes once the season resumes.

#2 No settled midfield

Dani Ceballos joined the Premier League outfit on loan from Real Madrid last summer.
Dani Ceballos has struggled for consistency in an Arsenal shirt. (Image Credits: The Sun)

Aaron Ramsey left Arsenal to join Serie A champions Juventus on a free transfer last summer and the Gunners are yet to fill the void created by the Welshman’s departure. Also, Arsenal have struggled to find a proper midfield combination owing to varied reasons ranging from injuries and suspensions to clashes with the manager.

For example, Mesut Ozil wasn’t deployed much by Mikel Arteta’s predecessor, Unai Emery as the German and the Spaniard didn’t see eye-to-eye.

Although Dani Ceballos was signed on loan from Real Madrid last summer, the Spanish international has failed to hit the ground running at the Emirates. On the other hand, despite Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira looking solid in the midfield at times, Arsenal have found it hard to break down defences who sit deep.

Arsenal were struggling to score against West Ham United in their last Premier League match until Mesut Ozil found Alexandre Lacazette, who broke the deadlock in the 78th minute as the Gunners edged out the Hammers 1-0 in the London derby.

The lack of a settled midfield could cost Arsenal a top-four finish once the season resumes.

#3 Lack of signings and disharmony in the dressing room

Pablo Mari was one of Arsenal's two January signings.
Arsenal signed Pablo Mari in January. (Image Credits: Sky Sports)

Arsenal went into the January transfer window hoping to plug the gaps in their playing XI as well as strengthening their squad depth.

However, in the inflated market, Arsenal didn’t sign any big names as they brought in Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari from Southampton and Flamengo respectively on loan deals.

However, Arsenal’s top four rivals Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur spent heavily during the winter transfer window.

On the other hand, there is resentment in the Arsenal dressing room as star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is yet to sign a new deal. The Gabon international not committing his future to the Emirates could create a ruckus within the camp.

Moreover, Granit Xhaka could also be on his way out in the summer, following his incident with the fans earlier in the season. These discontents among the players could spoil Arsenal’s chances of a top-four finish.

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