It’s a mammoth task, but I’ve attempted to rate every member of the Arsenal first-team squad from 1 to 10. I’m sure you won’t agree, but take a look at my ratings and explanations. Feel free to share with me your opinions on Twitter by tweeting me @OliPriceBates.
Bernd Leno – 8.5/10
An unfortunate injury from Maupay’s challenge will be what sticks in the mind for many about Leno’s season. But what must be remembered is how excellent the German was for the Gunners in this dismal season overall. Having had to face a huge amount of shots, especially in the first half of the season, Leno at times stopped the Gunners dropping into the relegation zone by saving numerous points for the team. I’ve tried to avoid awarding half points in this, but due to Leno’s season being cut short, I couldn’t quite give him a 9.
Emiliano Martinez – 8/10
It’s fair to say that Martinez was near faultless since stepping in for Leno and he will have certainly given Arteta something to think about for next season. His calmness and confidence to come for crosses is a key attribute where he is ahead of Leno. Gets a slightly lower score than Leno purely because he played a lot fewer games. Needs to prove himself over a full season to be considered amongst the best in the league, for me. Unless we need to sell to raise funds for other areas, I’d keep both keepers for the 2020/21 season and let them battle it out. If we didn’t get Europa League football I’d have said we needed to sell one, but there will be plenty of games for both to play and prove their worth.
Hector Bellerin – 6/10
Struggled in his first full season since returning from injury, it is starting to look like we will never seen the Spaniard back at full pace. Technically he also needs to improve in order to produce regularly in the final third. Under pressure following the arrival of Cedric, who Arteta has already publicly backed as the clubs best right back in terms of creating goals – Bellerin will need to step up next season. Flashes of quality, notably to create the FA Cup final winning goal attack, show that Hector still has potential to be an important player.
Kieran Tierney – 8/10
Signed last summer, the exciting Tierney has remained grounded and worked hard. Got injured during the terrible spell for the club, but since returning to fitness he’s been one of Arsenal’s best and most consistent players. Excited for him to hopefully stay injury free next season and have an even bigger impact. Arteta loves him and quite rightly. £25million very well spent.
Sokratis – 3/10
A rocky start to the season and since Arteta has taken over, the Greek international has been restricted to the odd emergency right back appearance. Clearly no future at the club beyond this summer – if the Gunners can shift him.
Rob Holding – 3/10
Rob has had his moments, but for the most part his injuries have massively hindered his progress and subsequent game time. Arteta is clearly not a fan. If he could be used in some kind of player swap deal then that could suit both parties.
Cedric – N/A
Played far too little for me to give him a grade. The Portuguese international has been riddled with injury problems but since returning to fitness, showed signs that he has the potential to play regularly for the Gunners but unlikely to be a gamechanger.
Shkodran Mustafi – 5/10
Like most Arsenal defenders, he’s been full of mistakes, but under Arteta, those errors have been less frequent and his ability to play out from the back has been of some value. Certainly not a CL level defender, but just about earns a respectable 5.
Calum Chambers – N/A
Pablo Mari – N/A
Barely seen any of Mari due to injury, but he has signed for the Gunners permanently. A big physical presence with an ability to play out from the back. Crucially a left-footed centre half to help rebalance our options.
David Luiz – 6/10
Luiz has had some truly horrible games this season and given away 5 penalties. However, in 80% of games, he has been the clubs best central defender and helped us in the build-up. He’s also another player to improve under Arteta and played incredibly well in both the FA Cup semi-final and final, therefore he gets a 6. His off the pitch contributions cannot be overlooked too, with many of the club’s young players praising Luiz.
Sead Kolasinac – 4/10
Admire that Sead has been flexible in his role and position to help the team, but ultimately he is not at the level we need. His terrible on the ball ability has seen him exposed in Arteta’s system and limits the effectiveness of it – should the club receive any decent offer for him, I’m sure they’d accept.
Dani Ceballos – 7/10
Ceballos started incredibly well, faded massively amongst the mess of our changing managers but once he settled and convinced Arteta he bought into what the Spaniard wanted to do, Dani has been a shining light in this team. Arsenal will hope to keep him as a midfield option next season. Because of the system and the state of the team, we’ve not seen as much of Dani going forward as we may have liked, but his defensive abilities are underappreciated.
Mesut Ozil – 2/10
Had moments under the early days with Arteta when he was gifted a clean slate, but his actions since have been unforgiveable. The club will be desperate to part ways with Mesut this summer.
Lucas Torreira – 3/10
Torreira has seriously struggled this season. Injuries have not helped, but Lucas clearly is not the type of player Mikel wants in his midfield.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 6/10
Mr versatile. Maitland-Niles was nearly cast into the reserves by both Emery and Arteta at times this season, but since the restart, the Englishman has got his head down and become a vital player for Mikel, playing a huge part in helping the club lift the FA Cup.
Joe Willock – 5/10
Willock has been a really useful member of the squad and always gives everything he has. Right now, all he has is not good enough to be a regular for Arsenal, but he certainly has the potential to be part of this squad.
Matteo Guendouzi – 2/10
Like Ozil, had his moments earlier in the season but due to how it has ended, his grade drops massively. Again like Ozil, the club will be desperate to sell.
Granit Xhaka – 7/10
Well well well. What a season of ups and downs for Xhaka. Personally I’ve always backed the player, even when he swore at the fans. Granit is very underappreciated and it seems under Arteta that he’s ironing out his errors and the fans have forgiven him and are now appreciating his qualities. Certainly one of the leaders and personalities in this team.
Bukayo Saka – 8/10
A huge breakout season for Saka. Playing in a number of positions the teenage Englishman has excelled and on many occasions been Arsenal’s best player. Where exactly he fits in this team long term is still unclear, but his ability to play in a number of positions will certainly help his chances.
Alexandre Lacazette – 6/10
Lacazette, like many players this season has fluctuated in form throughout. He has rallied in the seasons last sprint to redeem himself a little, but for the baulk of the season he was average. His work rate and commitment cannot be questioned and is certainly appreciated by the fans.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 9/10
If it wasn’t for some big moment misses (thinking vs. Tottenham and Olympiakos especially) then Auba would be a 9.5 or 10. He’s been excellent again, scoring 22 Premier League goals and playing more often than not from the left side of midfield. Playing in that role he has demonstrated great work rate and attitude for the team, helping defensively when many players of his ilk will not have bothered. Won the trophy for us at Wembley and wins the player of the season, for me.
Nicolas Pepe – 7/10
He’s been heavily criticised and certainly not perfect, but the stats don’t lie. Pepe has been Arsenal’s chief creative influence in a dysfunctional team. It’s been his first year in England and he’s had 3 managers putting him in and out of the team. Nico has contributed a lot this season and needs to become more consistent and lethal to live up to the £72million Arsenal paid for him, but don’t let that price tag distract from the fact he has had a lot of good moments this season. Creating more chances than any other Arsenal player (by a distance) and improved work rate as he’s settled in England, Pepe could have a huge year next season.
Reiss Nelson – 5/10
We were excited to see Reiss in an Arsenal shirt this season but in truth, he has struggled to live up to the hype. Still young, he must continue his development and look to add better end product to his game. Encouraging glimpses under Arteta and crucially he always works incredibly hard.
Eddie Nketiah – 6/10
Following a surprise recall in January, where he was set to go back out on loan, Eddie convinced Arteta he was good enough to stick around and his workrate and goals since have highlighted that Mikel was right to do so. Not going to be Arsenal’s number one striker probably ever, but a great back up option and homegrown talent.
Gabriel Martinelli – 8/10
Injuries have seen Gabi miss out since the league restarted and sadly he is unlikely to return for much of 2020, but we cannot forget the incredible impact, especially in the Europa League, that he has had. Expected to mainly feature in the reserves this season, he’s already become an important part of this first-team setup.