Harry Redknapp has been named Manchester City’s biggest rival in the Premier League next season as Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea face title challenges.
Man City won their third successive league title last season after beating Arsenal at the end of the season.
The Gunners spent 248 days on top, but collapsed towards the end of the campaign to finish five points behind treble winners Pep Guardiola.
Manchester United finished third in Erik ten Hag’s first season at Old Trafford and also lifted their first trophy since 2017 by beating fourth-placed Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final.
Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Champions League for a second time under Jurgen Klopp, while Chelsea finished just 12th in the Premier League after a disastrous campaign under three different managers.
Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea are all hoping to bring Man City closer next season, but ex-Premier League manager Redknapp expects Arsenal to be the ‘key challenges’ for a second year running following the signing of Declan Rice.
The Gunners are set to unveil Rice as their new club record after agreeing to pay West Ham more than £100 million for the England midfielder.
“I’m sorry to see him leave West Ham,” Redknapp told GB News. “I hoped West Ham would keep him for at least a few more years.
But I think he will certainly improve Arsenal’s chances of finishing above Manchester City next year, which is not easy.
Man City are again the big favourites. But Arsenal have made some good signings, I think they will be very strong.
“I certainly see them as the main challenges for Manchester City.”
Redknapp also says Rice will be welcomed with open arms at Arsenal and expects the 24-year-old to adapt ‘very quickly’ to his new surroundings in north London.
Manchester City vied with Arsenal for a deal for Rice, but Mikel Arteta got his way in a move that made the England star the most expensive British player in history.
Redknapp added: “I think if you feel like he’s going to help you win trophies then you’re only too happy he’s here. It is not a problem.
“I think Declan Rice is a great kid anyway, he has a fantastic character. He will go in and they will absolutely love him.
‘He is a sparkling personality. He has a couple in the Arsenal team who play against the England team. So he will adapt very quickly. He will certainly be the life and soul of the locker room.”
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