Sol Campbell believes Arsenal have a ‘good chance’ of securing a top-four finish in the Premier League this season following their impressive opening-day victory over Fulham and hailed the performance of new signing Gabriel.
The Gunners enjoyed the perfect start to the new season on Saturday, with debutants Gabriel and Willian starring in a convincing 3-0 win over newly-promoted Fulham.
Alexandre Lacazette scored the first goal of a Premier League season for the second time with a simple tap-in, before Gabriel headed home Arsenal’s second shortly after half-time.
Gunners captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who is expected to sign a new deal in the next few days – then rounded off a comfortable afternoon for Arsenal with his first goal of the new campaign.
The north London outfit finished eighth last season but are destined to improve in Mikel Arteta’s first full season as manager and can finish in the top-four, according to Campbell.
The Arsenal and England legend told Premier League productions: ‘I’m more optimistic [about that now] because if they can carry on like this and grow with confidence and the new players settle in, then why not?
‘Yes, there are other teams in there who have invested a lot of money and are vying for those positions.
‘But I think if they can carry on like they were at the end of this season and today then they have a good chance.’
Campbell also hailed Gabriel’s debut following his £23m summer move from Lille.
‘He was calm, collected, won his tackles, very mobile,’ the former Gunner added. ‘It was very, very good overall.
‘He should be really pleased. He scored and got a clean sheet so you know you’ve had a great game as a defender!
‘You have to look at the opposition but you can only play what’s in front of you and he had an excellent game.’
Arteta also praised Gabriel and admitted he was surprised at his performance levels in his first game since the Ligue 1 season was curtailed in March.
‘He hadn’t played any football for six months so to come and play a game in the Premier League after training with the team for three or four days is a big task,’ Arteta said.
‘The boy showed a lot of character and what he can do. He can still improve a lot but he had a really good game.
‘Willian knows the league, the country and is very settled here so I knew his performance would settle straight away.’
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