By Noel Whelan

3rd Nov, 2021 | 10:00am

Pundit makes surprise Arsenal claim after Ramsdale update via talkSPORT

Noel Whelan has surprisingly insisted Champions League qualification for Arsenal this season is a “real possibility”.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Gunners are reaping the rewards of sticking with Mikel Arteta.

Speaking to talkSPORT (October 31st), Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale claimed he and his teammates are “not getting ahead of themselves” over a potential top-four finish.

The former Sheffield United star insisted there is “a lot of work we have to continue doing” in order to achieve that goal this term.

Arsenal have turned their form around since sitting rock bottom of the Premier League after three games.

Now, they are just three points from the top four after going unbeaten in the last seven league games.

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Whelan suggested the “jigsaw pieces” are coming together at the Emirates Stadium.

“I think qualifying for the Champions League is a real possibility,” he told Football Insider.

“They’ve made it possible by bolstering the positions where they were weakest. Ben White at centre-half has come in and forged a good partnership with Gabriel.

“Arteta has found a formation and a system that works and that gets the best out of everyone in the side.

“They have a good balance about them, and it just shows that sometimes you can be better off giving an under-pressure manager that time to progress with the rebuilding process.

“The jigsaw pieces are falling into place at the moment. For the first time in ages, I am seeing an exciting, solid Arsenal team who all know their games individually and collectively.

“You’re seeing the benefits of sticking with Arteta, he’s managed to transform the players’ confidence around and he’s got them playing with a smile on their faces.”

In other news, pundit is impressed by Arsenal coach hire after best-in-Prem reveal.