Laura Woods believes finishing in the Champions League places is the minimum requirement for Arsenal after their summer spending spree.
Reports suggested the Gunners could have as little as £45million to spend in the transfer market after failing to qualify for Europe’s elite competition last season.
However, manager Unai Emery certainly was not frugal with the chequebook as Arsenal splashed the cash before the transfer window shut.
Nicolas Pepe moved to the Emirates in a club-record £72m deal, while Kieran Tierney and David Luiz arrived on Deadline Day to shore up a porous defence.
And Woods believes there is plenty to be optimistic about ahead of the new season.
“I think when everything comes back together, when you get the players who are returning from injury – who are obviously going to need game time and it will take a while.
“But when you get Hector Bellerin on the right, Kieran Tierney on the left and David Luiz partnered with someone like Rob Holding, who is also coming back, suddenly it doesn’t feel so negative.
“If you get the protection ahead of them right as well, and you’ve got the players who are tracking back and willing to do a bit of defensive work as well.
“I think the main thing Arsenal need to work on is their away form.”
The Gunners take on Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon, a side that have also spent big in the summer after a disappointing season.
Hector Bellerin continues his recovery on his knee injury
But Woods believes anything less than a top four finish this season is not acceptable after the Gunners’ summer spending.
“It’s not out of the question [finishing in the Champions League spots],” she continued. “I think with the money they have spent now and all the promises they have made now in this window, they HAVE to finish top four.”
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