Lauren claims Arsenal could challenge Manchester City for the title…next season!

Mikel Arteta is making progress at Arsenal (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League title next season if they finish in the top four this term.

That’s according to former Gunners defender Lauren, who feels Arsenal’s performance in their recent defeat to Manchester City underlined the progress being made under Mikel Arteta.

Though Arsenal were beaten by Pep Guardiola’s men, there were widely praised for their display in the defeat and supporters stayed long after the final whistle to commend the players for their performance.

And Lauren feels that – provided Arsenal can qualify for the Champions League this season – they will be well placed to challenge City and Liverpool for the Premier League next term.

Lauren is backing his former club (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

‘We saw Arsenal in the first half against Manchester City; Arsenal were absolutely brilliant,’ Lauren told Labrokes ahead of the launch of its 5-a-side Bet on Tottenham vs Arsenal.

‘They took the game to a top team and were unlucky not to get a result. If you take that first-half, there’s no way you could say City were better than Arsenal. The whole team just looked so confident going forward and in defence.

‘Later on things happened in the game, small mistakes which need addressing. But on the whole everyone was at the top of their game, against such a usually dominant team like City. Everyone was comfortable, there was a great balance from defence to attack.

‘They showed me enough in that first-half against Manchester City to tell me they could be fighting for the league as early as next season. If they continue to play in that way, they’ll be right up there. They just need to work on their concentration, and sustaining those concentration levels for the duration of the game, but if they can do that, then I believe they’ll be fighting next season to win the Premier League.

‘There’s a lot more to come from this side, and the key thing this season is to qualify for the Champions League, because once you do that, you can begin to attract even better players. Do that, and I believe Mikel Arteta’s side can sustain a title challenge.’

Lauren, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on Tottenham v Arsenal’

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