Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck and former star Thierry Henry are confident that the team can push on from their third-place finish in the Premier League last season.
Speaking on Monday (15 June) at the Emirates' Stadium at the launch of the team's new kit for the 2015-16 season, Welbeck said that he was pleased the team had qualified directly for the Champions League thanks to their third place finish in the Premier League last season.
"Yes, it's very important. Obviously, it's best you want to finish as high up the table as possible and for us not have to qualify to get into the group stages, that's good for us. It's maybe two less games and that's something you have to take into consideration, so now we can go straight into the group stages and try and kick on from there and go as far as possible," said Welbeck.
Arsenal's player of the season was Chilean Alexis Sanchez. He scored 25 goals in all competitions and is currently in Chile playing for his country in the Copa America. Former Arsenal star and now TV pundit Thierry Henry said that the fitness of Sanchez will be one of the keys to Arsenal possibly winning the title next season for the first time since 2004.
"Finding that consistency is going to be key. Hopefully, like I said to you before, Alexis Sanchez is going to come back without any injury. He is key for me, although Giroud had a good season, last season Santi Cazorla has been tremendous. Francis Coquelin, for me, did balance that team, especially in midfield, he allowed everybody to go forward and the back four to relax a tiny bit more, especially the two centre-backs.
"But Alexis Sanchez for me is the X-factor, he is the guy that can make you win a game that looks like it is going to be a defeat, and hopefully, he's going to do that a bit more next season. He's the guy that everybody was waiting for at Arsenal and... we are all waiting for the title. And as a fan, and I'm sure the players and I'm sure Arsene, knowing him, is dying to finally to bring the title back and I have a feeling that he can be next year, with a couple of additions, I think that it can be done," said Henry.
One player who has been showing excellent form recently is midfielder Jack Wilshere. He has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, but the 23-year-old made headlines on Sunday (14 June) with two stunning goals for England in their 3-2 win over Slovenia in their Euro 2016 qualifier.
"I mean the same thing for Jack - for me, he is Arsenal, basically," said Henry. "He supported Arsenal since he was young, he went through the academy, he does represent Arsenal. You want him to stay, not only because of that - because he's a good player, we all know what he can bring.
"Now, I would love for him to have an entire season without injuries. And that's no one's fault at the end of the day, but like that we can finally see what he has. We all know what he can do, but we all want to finally see it throughout the whole season and see how he can drive playing here, how he can drive that team to have a successful season and hopefully win the title, but what he did, the other night, we all know he can do that. Hopefully for him, he can stay injury free."
Arsenal's season begins on 2 August with the Community Shield match against champions Chelsea at Wembley with the league season starting the following week.