Former Arsenal star Robert Pires says he is very confident that the current players of the club can put up a strong challenge for the Premier League title, despite the lack of Champions League football, and with serious competition in the forthcoming season.

Arsene Wenger, who managed the retired footballer, is still continuing in his role as manager after he decided to stay for two more years. The Frenchman has started spending money to add top players ahead of the season.

When asked if Wenger would be able to do something different this time around, Pires said: “Of course, Wenger is as hungry as ever. It’s most important for him. He’s very disappointed [about] the Champions League last season, because when he works it’s always to win something. He won the FA Cup, but I think for the new season we need to forget the Champions League. I am positive, I believe in this team, I believe in this squad. The first objective is to win the Premier League.”

Pires added that the league was “very difficult” to win. He asked that the club make it their priority for the following season after years of disappointment. Arsenal are currently the fifth favourites for the title, behind current champions Chelsea, Tottenham, Man Utd, Man City and Liverpool – visit NetBet for the latest odds as they will change as / when new players sign or leave each club!

As the club launched its new kit, Pires was asked to name his 5-a-side team of former stars. The player told Copa 90 that his choice in goal was former French keeper Fabien Barthez. Both of them starred in the 1998 World Cup winning side for France. Pires named Marcel Desailly as the defender of his side. The former Chelsea player also featured in the 1998 World Cup. In midfield, Pires named Real Madrid legend and Coach Zinedine Zidane. He also named former Arsenal stars Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry in the team. Pires won titles in England with Bergkamp and Henry, the trio spent six successful years with the Gunners, lifting various titles.

Whilst Arsenal haven’t been signing Galacticos like Zidane so far this summer, they are set to complete the deal for Thomas Lemar from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco, with Arsenal returning with a £40 million fresh bid after the first bid the Premier League side submitted a few weeks back was rejected. The FA Cup champs have now with the hope of luring the player to the Emirates. The Gunners had earlier submitted a bid of £30 million in a bid to bring the winger to England.

Reports in England claim Lemar has agreed personal terms but the transfer fee is key for the move away from Stade Louis II. Arsene Wenger wants to seal the deal as soon as possible so the team can finish other deals. The left wing star played an important role as Monaco cruised to a league title win, ending PSG straight four title dominance. Lemar created 72 chances, with ten assists.

He is set to be the third addition as left back Sead Kolasinac and Lacazette have officially joined. Kolasinac had joined on a free transfer deal after his contract with Schalke 04 ended.

Lemar could have joined the Gunners in 2015 when he moved from SM Caen but he joined Monaco. With the player’s surge in profile with Monaco, Arsenal will pay much more but he has gained considerable experience since then.

Lemar is reportedly close friends with Laca and that could influence the deal. It would be exciting to see both stars join Alexis Sanchez in an attacking trio. Monaco have already lost Bernando Silva to Man City this summer and with others rumoured to leave, the champs are hoping to retain the bulk of the team. The lack of Champions League football might affect Arsenal’s chase of top talents in Europe but the club remains renowned for good football.