MIKEL ARTETA has transformed Arsenal’s fortunes since replacing Unai Emery in December.
Based on results since January 1, 2020, the Gunners sit third in the Premier League table.
The North Londoners have lost just twice in the New Year – the joint-lowest with league leaders Liverpool.
Their seven wins from 13 games – including victories against Manchester United, Everton and Wolves – gives them 25 points which is the same as last year’s champions Manchester City.
And only City, Liverpool and United have a better goal difference than the Gunners’ +12.
Arsenal were in the bottom half of the table when they let Emery go, which means the club are only seventh now despite their significant upturn in form.
The Spaniard oversaw a disastrous run that saw his side go seven games without a win for the first time since 1992.
A string of poor results and unrest in the dressing room among the club’s top players was finally enough for the hierarchy to swing the axe.
But Arteta has turned things around and he added another impressive scalp to his list on Saturday with a comfortable 2-0 win at fellow European chasers Wolves.
But speaking at the weekend, the ex-Man City assistant urged Arsenal’s board to back him in this summer’s transfer market to enable him to build on what he has started.
Asked who is likely to be next season’s strongest teams, he said: “It looks like (Liverpool and Man City) at the moment and what happened in the table for the last two or three years suggests that.
“But things change very quickly. Look how Liverpool have evolved in the last four or five years.
“Man Utd as well is looking really strong at the moment.
“They are making a lot of good decisions. Leicester the same, Wolves with the season they are having.
“It’s going to be a challenge but that gap has to be closed.
“For us, the margin that we have for improvement is still very, very big.
“We don’t know how the market is going to be. We are pulling different plans together to see what we are going to be able to do.
“At the moment the uncertainty is still big. The way we are going to finish the season will dictate a lot of things financially as well.
“We have to be a bit patient and see what happens. We’re seeing different things.
“The way Chelsea is dealing with the market is different to the rest at the moment, but Bayern Munich are also being really aggressive.
“If you ask me, we cannot be a team that has to sell its best player to try to bring in and improve our squad, that’s for sure.”