'Arsenal are going to do something important this year' - Emery pleased with recent progress

Unai Emery is confident that Arsenal are on the right track to become a major force in English football once again, after a solid start to the 2019-20 campaign.

The Gunners are currently fifth in the Premier League, just two points behind Leicester City and Chelsea having played a game less.

Emery's men can move back into third with a victory against Sheffield United at Brammall Lane on Monday night and close the gap between themselves and leaders Liverpool to eight points in the process.

Arsenal have only been beaten once this season and seem to have developed a habit of grinding out results, as highlighted by a narrow 1-0 home win over Bournemouth just before the international break.

Ahead of his team's latest domestic outing, Emery has predicted an "important" breakthrough will be made at Emirates Stadium in the near future, with all of his players currently pulling in the right direction.

"I am speaking every day with Raul, Edu and with the players," he told Sky Sports.

"Our work is more important than our words and really now I am very happy at the club. I am really happy with the players.

"The last two, three, four weeks, every player - and Mesut Ozil - is working very well.

"This is why we can be positive and we can think we are going to do something important this year.

"I was speaking with Raul and this is the same idea when he is speaking with me."

A number of academy stars have made the step up to Arsenal's first-team during Emery's reign, with 18-year-old Bukayo Saka the latest man to make his mark at the Emirates.

The teenage winger has contributed one goal and one assist in five appearances across all competitions and his eye-catching display against Manchester United on September 30 helped the Gunners earn a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Emery singled out Saka for praise before insisting the younger members of his squad can help Arsenal become more "competitive".

Bukayo Saka Arsenal 2019-20

"We can play better each match. It's one process," he added. "Little by little we're using the young players to achieve the performance, giving them confidence and experience in the matches.

"For example, Bukayo Saka is improving, helping us and taking a good performance. I know he needs to break more steps ahead in his improvement. Other players are the same.

"This is the way he can give us the best performance and best way to do our way, playing maybe better sometimes. I think this is one process.

"For us, it's very important to be competitive in each match. We are being competitive at the moment. Being competitive we can then achieve a better way for how we can play.

"If we are competitive we can use different players in different moments, some with more skill, some with more capacity to do pressing and transition. We can use them if we, like a team, can feel strong in our mentality and being competitive and consistent each match."