Arsenal: 5 Players Who Will Have a Breakout Season
2013-14 is set to be a huge season for everyone at Arsenal Football Club.
With renewed spending power and an improving young squad, Arsenal are expected to use the coming season to demonstrate their title credentials. It's a vital year for the collective.
However, it could be a big season for certain individuals, too. For some players, 2013-14 will be an opportunity to emerge from the shadows and into the foreground.
Go on to the next slide to discover who Arsenal's breakout stars will be next season.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might feel he has already broken out. The young winger has played in the Champions League and earned 12 England caps.
However, there is still a long way to go before Oxlade-Chamberlain fulfils his enormous potential.
Last season, he started just 11 of Arsenal's 38 Premier League games. Perversely, he is higher up the pecking order at international level than with his club side. A tally of just two Arsenal goals in 2012/13 is not good enough for a player listed on the club website squad page as a "striker."
Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to accelerate his progress once again.
The signs are promising. He ended last season in good form, thumping home a dramatic goal for England in the Maracana, and has begun preseason in typically determined fashion.
This could be the season he shifts from promising youngster to regular starter.
Despite signing for Arsenal in the summer of 2011, Joel Campbell has not yet played for the Gunners.
In Betis, Campbell impressed with his athleticism and close-control. His 21 La Liga appearances came predominantly on the right wing, from where he is able to cut inside and use his powerful left foot.
Campbell has now been granted a work permit. Arsene Wenger must now choose whether or not to keep the Costa Rican at the Emirates or send him out to another club.
Either way, this is a vital year for Campbell. At 21, he has to seize the chance to impress Arsene Wenger at close-quarters. If he is given the opportunity to remain at Arsenal and play Capital One Cup games, he could emerge as one of the surprise stars of the season.
After undergoing a six-month period of adaptation, Nacho Monreal should be ready to relaunch his challenge for a first-team place.
Monreal was signed at the end of the January transfer window to cover for Kieran Gibbs' absence through injury. However, by the end of the campaign, Gibbs was starting regularly at the Spaniard's expense.
Monreal will not give up his spot without a fight. In order to preserve his international ambitions, he will need to be getting regular games at Arsenal.
If Monreal can add incisive attacking runs to his steady defensive play, he has the potential to oust Gibbs as Arsenal's No. 1 left-back.
This could be Carl Jenkinson's year. He is absolutely determined to oust Bacary Sagna and become Arsenal's first-choice right-back.
Speaking exclusively to Arseblog News, Jenkinson said:
This season I want to be playing every week so my aims have changed a lot. Last season I think realistically I knew Bacary was going to be the first choice right-back and I was going to have to deal with that and change it through the season.
Going into this season, from a personal perspective, I want to be playing. I don’t know what the boss is thinking, but it’s up to me in pre-season to show what I’m capable of. Hopefully I want to be starting the season, that’s what I want to be doing.
Based on last season's energetic displays, Jenkinson has the quality and commitment required to become an Arsenal great.
2013/14 could be the start of something special.
Gedion Zelalem is only 16. However, Arsene Wenger has always preached that if you're good enough, you're old enough. Zelalem is certainly good enough.
The teenage playmaker has been the surprise star of Arsenal's preseason tour of Asia. His incisive passing and intricate approach play are reminiscent of a young Cesc Fabregas.
Zelalem is likely to be handed a senior Arsenal debut in this season's Capital One Cup. That will cap an extraordinary rise for a player who was playing high school soccer a matter of months ago.
What do you think? Who will be Arsenal's breakout stars in 2013/14? Let us know below.