Simulation predicts Arsenal will return to Europe after 2021/22 Premier League season

Tonight marks the return of Premier League football as the 2021/22 campaign gets underway, and Arsenal will be involved in the first game of the season with a visit to the league’s new boys, Brentford.

Arsenal enter the 2021/22 season with high hopes after a busy transfer window so far, with young talents Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares all joining the Gunners this summer for a combined fee of around £72million.

Last season was a poor one for Mikel Arteta’s side as Arsenal finished eighth in the league, but the new season is the start of an exciting project for the Gunners, with a strong blend of youth and experience in the squad as they look to make their way back into European competition.

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So, what could happen in the 2021/22 Premier League season for Arsenal? Will it be another mid-table finish? Or can they step up from last season and battle it out for the European spots?

To simulate the season, we used the Football Manager 2021 editor to update the teams involved in the Premier League, with each club having their updated transfers added into the database.

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Let’s see what happened!

We simulated Arsenal’s 2021/22 Premier League season

In his second season at the club, the Football Manager 2021 simulation predicts that Thomas Partey will have his breakthrough season with Arsenal in 2021/22 as he averaged the highest rating over the course of the campaign.

Thomas Partey averaged the best rating throughout the season for Arsenal in the 21/22 simulation
Thomas Partey averaged the best rating throughout the season for Arsenal in the 21/22 simulation

The midfielder played 36 games and registered five goals and three assists in that time, averaging a rating of 7.38. He was closely followed by Bukayo Saka (7.33) and Alexandre Lacazette (7.32) who both had strong seasons as well.

Lacazette managed nine goals and one assist in the league for Arsenal but it wasn’t enough to claim the golden boot at the Gunners, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hitting double digits for the season with 10.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished the 21/22 simulation as Arsenal's top scorer
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished the 21/22 simulation as Arsenal’s top scorer

Eddie Nketiah played a major part for Arteta’s side as an impact sub, scoring six goals off the bench and finishing the season as the clubs third-highest scorer.

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At the end of the 2021/22 season, Football Manager 2021 put together an overall best Arsenal XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics.

This is how the best Gunners XI looked in 2021/22 according to FM21.

Arsenal's best XI from the 21/22 season simulation
Arsenal’s best XI from the 21/22 season simulation

Full Arsenal best XI: Leno; Bellerin, Gabriel, White, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang; Lacazette.

White slotted straight into the backline for the Gunners and formed a strong partnership with Gabriel, but the same can’t be said for Tavares and Lokonga who both struggled for game time in the simulation.

Here’s how the 2021/22 Premier League table looked at the end of May 2022.

Arsenal finished fifth and qualified for Europa League in the 21/22 simulation
Arsenal finished fifth and qualified for Europa League in the 21/22 simulation

It was a better season for Arsenal in the end as they moved three places higher than last season in the sim and finished in fifth place, guaranteeing European football would return to the Emirates in 2022/23.

The Gunners ended the season on a four-game win streak which saw them overtake Spurs and Everton as they confirmed Europa League football for the following season.

Compared to last season, Arteta’s side earned four more points and finished with a slightly better goal difference of 17 – as they scored seven more and conceded six less.

Would you be happy with this outcome at the end of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign? Let us know in the comments below!

Source by Football London

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