Arsenal has had one hell of a tumultuous season, but through it all, certain players are standing out. Here are the three top performers thus far.
From Unai Emery to Freddie Ljungberg to Mikel Arteta, Arsenal has gone through the muck and back trying to figure out how best to carry on after Arsene Wenger and they ended where they very well might have begun—with Wenger’s prodigy.
It’s hard for players to keep any sort of consistency through such a situation, and that’s been the case this year as well. As managers rotate, players have to adapt to new tactical approaches, new training ground techniques, new everything.
Which has been a major concern this year. You look at someone like Granit Xhaka, who started the season alright, fell into poor form, almost left, and is now one of the top performers at the club. But on the year as a whole? It only comes out about level.
Arsenal’s season has ridden on these three guys
Same goes for Alexandre Lacazette. Our player of the season last year and yet he’s ranking in as one of our most disappointing players this year.
So who defied the odds? Who fought through the slew of managers to emerge as the best and most consistent players of the season. Let’s talk about it.
3. Gabriel Martinelli
It was hard choosing between Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, but the difference between the two is there haven’t really been any moments where Martinelli completely collapsed, made a baffling mistake, or otherwise befuddled the entire Emirates. Saka has had moments like that—brief moments, mind you, but still moments.
For Martinelli, he has dazzled all year. While Mikel Arteta hasn’t yet found a consistent place for Martinelli in his starting XI, the fact that Martinelli continues to perform at such a high level whenever he takes the pitch is a testament to his overall quality.
He has proven to be an absolute goal machine, with the only thing keeping him out of the starting XI being Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Clear the road for Martinelli next year, because he could be on his way to competing for our player of the season already.
Speaking of such, on to No. 2.