Arsenal legend Paul Merson makes predictions for 2023/24 season from winner to runners-up and Golden Boot | The Sun

PAUL MERSON has locked in his Premier League predictions early doors, and it is bad news for Arsenal and Chelsea fans.

The Gunners legend has revealed his picks for the Premier League title, top four spots, Golden Boot, Player of the Season and his surprise packages.

Speaking to Sportskeeda, he revealed who he was backing to win the title.

He said: "I can’t look past Manchester City for the Premier League title. With Ilkay Gundogan gone and Kyle Walker on his way out, it might be difficult for them this season.

"Arsenal could give them a run for their money, but City’s bench is very strong and Declan Rice will need to get used to the way Arsenal play.

"They move the ball around a lot faster than he’s used to at West Ham and England. Arsenal could get close…


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"At the moment, the only thing that could deny Man City the Premier League title is their own complacency. They’ve got the best squad and should be able to defend their crown."

So Merson is predicting an unprecedented four-peat of the Prem title for City, something which has never been done in English football before.

So what about the top-four race? Well, Merson predicts Liverpool to be back in the fight, but insists they won't challenge for the title.

In the case of Manchester United, their hopes of landing the title vs a top-four scrap rest on landing Harry Kane, who is reportedly edging closer to a transfer to Bayern Munich.

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Chelsea are set to be the unlucky party to miss out under Mauricio Pochettino according to Merson, who said: "I don’t see Liverpool mounting a challenge at the moment.

"A lot depends on whether Manchester United can get Harry Kane. If they do, they’re massive challengers for the Premier League title. If they don’t, they’ll still be fighting for a place in the top four.

"I don’t think Chelsea will get into the top four – there’s too much work to be done at the moment.

"They’ve got a big squad without a midfield, and they’ve got rid of Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount. Their squad is very unbalanced."

So what about player awards? Former England international Merson reckons Erling Haaland will lose his crown as the winner of the Golden Boot in place of Kane – providing the 30-year-old joins Man Utd.

Merson also predicted the likes of Darwin Nunez, Julian Alvarez, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli to have tidy returns but nothing in comparison to the likes of Kane, Haaland and Mohamed Salah.

He said: "I'm going to go with Harry Kane for the Premier League Golden Boot next season.

"Erling Haaland stopped scoring goals towards the end of last season, didn't he? I'm not sure if teams have snuffed him out.

"Harry Kane's record has been incredible. He got to 30 goals last season without scoring four goals a game.

"What he's done is phenomenal in my opinion and if he does go to Man Utd, I don't see how he doesn't win the Golden Boot.

"The big advantage that the likes of Haaland, Kane, and Mohamed Salah have is that they know they're going to be playing every game.

"The likes of Darwin Nunez and Alexander Isak won't be playing every game either.

"Julian Alvarez is also a great player, but he'd have to get a hat-trick in every game he plays to get close. He's a starter in almost every other team in Europe.

"Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli couldn't have played any better than they did last season, and they didn't get close to Kane and Haaland.

"You've got a lot of forwards getting to 15 goals in the Premier League, but that's not going to win you the Golden Boot."

A lot depends on whether Manchester United can get Harry Kane. If they do, they’re massive challengers for the Premier League title.

Perhaps the biggest call Merson has made is his pick for the Player of the Season; Jack Grealish.

He explained: "With his performances last season, I believe he's paid back his transfer fee already. Grealish does a lot of running for Man City, and he works his socks off for the team.

"He closes down and tracks back, and he does his fair share. I don't believe in the stats and I find it strange when people read into his numbers.

"It takes everyone at least a year to get used to the way they play at Manchester City. Grealish plays every week not just because of what he does going forward – he tracks back as well.

"As soon as Joao Cancelo left, he became a completely different player. Jack Grealish has taken his time, and he's now playing at his best for Pep Guardiola."

In terms of surprise packages, Merson reckons Aston Villa will have enough about them to finish in the top six under Unai Emery.

He believes newly-promoted Luton will also rock the apple cart due to being "difficult to beat at home".

On the Hatters, he said: "The clubs that usually come up to the Premier League – the Watfords and West Broms – have beautiful and comfortable stadiums.

"Luton Town will give the Premier League a proper wake-up call. If you look at how far they've come over the past 20 years, it's an unbelievable story. I think they could cause problems this season.

"If Luton stick to their principles and play the way they're used to without getting disheartened by their away form, they could win 10 home games this season.

"I'm backing them to stay up this season, and that could be one of the biggest miracles we've seen in the Premier League."

Merson has also earmarked Chelsea new boy Nicolas Jackson as the shock package of next season.

He added: "Nicolas Jackson looks like a great player. He's very lively and direct, and he doesn't mess about. He can score a goal and make a goal as well.

"He's linked up very well with [Mykhailo] Mudryk so far, and both of them have been very impressive in pre-season…

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"I've been very surprised with Nicolas Jackson so far. I know it's only pre-season, but what I've seen has been ample. He's a handful, and I'd definitely say that he's going to surprise people this season."

However, he is less convinced about Kai Havertz's new role in Arsenal's midfield and remains unsure Alexis Mac Allister can bear the load left behind by the likes of Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino.

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