Despite a 2-1 win over Everton on the final day of the Premier League season, Arsenal finished in second place as champions Manchester City beat West Ham 3-1 to claim their fourth straight title.

The Gunners made life difficult for themselves, failing to capitalise on a handful of first-half chances before conceding a deflected free-kick on 40 minutes to fall behind.

Takehiro Tomiyasu equalised swiftly after, but the chances kept passing by until Kai Havertz finished off a scruffy move late on to win it.

Having gone into final day needing City to drop points, the drama was quickly washed away by Phil Foden’s second-minute strike, and his second goal in the 18th minute all but killed any hope of Arsenal sneaking the league title on the final day. 

But despite the deflation of failing to win the league, the Gunners closed out the season with the win, serenaded by the fans, to cap off a fantastic campaign. 

Taking an incredible City side to the final day in the league and progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League are two big steps for this young team.

For all of the individual moments and individual games people will point to as the reason for missing out, the main takeaway from this season is that Arsenal will be back.

There were question marks after last season about whether Arsenal had a strong enough mentality or had the quality to maintain another title charge. Those questions were answered emphatically. 

City’s constant success may be inevitable, but like Liverpool before them, Arsenal will be worthy competitors along the way.

Another positive note from Sunday’s game was the return of Jurrien Timber for the first time since his ACL tear on opening day in August.

Given the instability at left-back all season, he will be like a new signing after a full pre-season to recover.

The challenge now is for Mikel Arteta, Edu and the rest of the recruitment team to regroup and plan for a busy summer ahead.

This Arsenal squad isn’t too far away and after the success of last year’s signings, a similar window could put the Gunners over the edge.