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Football London
Tom Canton

Saliba shines, Jesus conflicts - Arsenal Premier League player ratings so far this season

Aaron Ramsdale

Aaron Ramsdale has been a consistent performer for Arsenal. His breakout last season garnered high praise for his distribution but trailed off in the final months of the campaign as Arsenal failed to reach the top four.

This season he has managed to keep the joint most number of clean sheets in the league with seven. His distribution has not been as eye-catching although against PSV he was caught out from a corner which proved costly in the game but thankfully not in the group. 7.

Matt Turner

A brand-new signing will always take time to adjust and being the Arsenal backup goalkeeper makes the process even harder due to limited opportunities. Matt Turner played in the opening four Europa League games and had a point to prove after an unconvincing showing in pre-season.

READ MORE: Arsenal’s earliest World Cup returners could see Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka play Barcelona

It would be fair to say the opening match against FC Zurich failed to convince but the American has gradually improved. Some good saves at anticipation in both games against Bodo/Glimt offered optimism for the future. 6 .

Karl Hein

Karl Hein has played just one game in the Arsenal goal and had a nightmare. Slipping and giving away a penalty to Brighton’s Danny Welbeck in the Carabao Cup began the eventual demise of the Gunners’ early elimination as two further goals were scored by the Seagulls. 3.

Benjamin White

I love Benjamin White. A proclamation that is gradually being endorsed by an exponential number of Arsenal supporters each week as the England international has swiftly acclimatised to the right-back role and made it his own

Defensively White was always showing quality from the moment he joined but this season against some of the best wingers the league has to offer have come up short and failed to outmanoeuvre the 24-year-old. He is now developing his game going forwards and his assist for Granit Xhaka against Southampton was the perfect example of the level it is reaching. Excellent. 8.

Takehiro Tomiyasu

Ousted from the right-back role at the start of the season where he had impressed last season after arriving from Bologna. Like White, he too has found a new home for some games in the left-back role.

Mikel Arteta has leaned on Takehiro Tomiyasu in Oleksandr Zinchenko’s absence and first gave the Japanese international the nod at home against Liverpool and Mohamed Salah of all teams. His performance was a massive contributing factor to the 3-2 victory over the Reds to hand Arteta the statement victory he needed.

Beyond that, Tomiyasu maintained his spot until Zinchenko returned and shone again against Nottingham Forest in particular. However, there were some trickier moments against Leeds United and Southampton, but his displays have been pleasing prior to further fitness issues ahead of the World Cup. 7.

Cedric Soares

Cedric Soares has barely featured this season having begun the campaign with an injury. Despite fighting back to full fitness and an understanding that he wants to push for a regular spot again, Mikel Arteta has hardly used him but in the moments he has done the Portuguese player has not done enough right or wrong to deviate from the middle ground. 5.

William Saliba

For me, the best centre-back in the Premier League this season and perhaps the world. William Saliba has been a transformative figure that, so far, can only be likened to Virgil van Dijk’s arrival at Liverpool; we just hope the league title ramifications of that move can also be mirrored here.

Strong, commanding, composed and rapid. Saliba combines the best traits of a defender to make him the player he is and if he can eradicate the small errors that remain then Arsenal might just possess the next world’s best. No exaggeration. 9.

Rob Holding

Rob Holding has been a strong servant of Arsenal Football Club for the six-plus years he has been in north London since arriving from Bolton. However, this season it has become clear that the level has outgrown what Holding can provide.

He remains a good option to help see games out when Mikel Arteta wants to defend from deep, but as a starting option, his presence has only furthered the obvious gap between him, Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes. Hopefully, Arsenal and Holding find a beneficial resolution in the summer, he deserves it. 6.

Gabriel Magalhaes

There have certainly been errors in Gabriel Magalhaes’ game this season that cannot be ignored. However, the real shame is that for many, these problems have been allowed to overshadow what has been a brilliant season for the Brazilian.

He and Saliba have formed a formidable and intimidating partnership that we have craved Arsenal to possess for years. He has continued to score important goals such as against Fulham and Chelsea and having now signed a new deal, there is confidence Gabriel will only improve further and aim to mitigate the drawbacks in his game. 8.

Oleksandr Zinchenko

If only Oleksandr Zinchenko could be more reliable with his fitness. He has played half of the 14 Premier League games available this season due to a reoccurring calf issue meaning he’s missed more games than the 11 previous reasons for absence on his record.

However, when present, it is obvious the benefit that Arsenal get from him. The way he so comfortably plays the inverted style levels up the Gunners’ left flank.

That said, he is not without his weaknesses. His rating is brought down somewhat by the number of times teams have exposed the space in behind, as was evident at Old Trafford. If he can find a strong run of games and settle, even more, there’s no doubt he can be a standout from the season as a whole. 7.

Kieran Tierney

Kieran Tierney might be the unluckiest player in the group. There has been a reluctance from Mikel Arteta to use Kieran Tierney and with players like Zinchenko and Tomiyasu available it is understandable as to why.

That said, when Tierney has played, he has still offered the same offensive threat and solid defensive security that his presence provides the back four. He just cannot quite adapt to the style of play that Arteta demands from his left-back player. 7.

Thomas Partey

Arsenal works because of Thomas Partey. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, especially because the Gunners have won in his absence but saying any less could understate the importance of the Ghanaian to this Gunners side.

Despite not arriving as a player tuned to the position he now plays, Partey has become arguably one of, if not, the best in the deepest midfield role in the league, or at least he has been this season. The defensive security, the progressive passing and the goals too which, from range at least, had been comical for how poor they were. 8.

Mohamed Elneny

Injured for the majority of the season, Mohamed Elneny’s injury sparked a mad dash at the end of the summer window that ultimately failed. He has since returned and will surely be vital in the heavy schedule next year. 5.

Albert Sambi Lokonga

In Elneny’s absence, Albert Sambi Lokonga was deployed in the deepest midfield position instead of his natural eight role. He has been unable to impress the majority of fans and others do need to stretch to find significant compliments for the Belgian.

He needs to get regular game time and the likelihood is, especially after the January transfer window, that this will not happen at Arsenal. Therefore, a loan in the summer, because it’d be naïve to lose a depth option in this season at least, makes the most sense. 5.

Martin Odegaard

The player who makes the Arsenal team tick has continued his elegant and orchestral role but has now taken on the task set to score more and become the club’s leading goalscorer. Martin Odegaard's sixth of the season, away at Wolves, took him one beyond Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

He could yet still be more deadly and decisive with his shooting but that in itself is now exciting over concerning. He continues to be massively creative and had Jesus had his scoring boots on in these past couple of months he might be in double digits for assists by now. 8.

Granit Xhaka

Despite Saliba being the best player in the team this season, the standout star of this first portion of the campaign has to be Granit Xhaka. The renaissance that most thought might never arrive has done in such a way which has been crafted by the manager Mikel Arteta.

Playing in this new left-sided advanced eight role, Xhaka has been able to bring all the aspects of his game that were great to the fore, whilst mitigating the drawbacks which of course remain. However, and to much credit of Partey, Xhaka has simply been released by Arteta and firmly put himself in the conversation of the league’s top central midfielders. 9.

Fabio Vieira

Robbed of the pre-season due to injury, Fabio Vieira has been unable to transition fully to this Arsenal team. That said, despite some unimpressive displays, I have sympathy for more than just his transition, but he is often forced to play with a second-string side which is levels below that of the starting team.

It is therefore not a surprise that when he’s played more than half of a Premier League game this season, he has a goal against Brentford and an assist against Wolves. He needs time and he is sure to get it, the club didn’t invest £34 million to see this lad’s talent go to waste. 6.

Emile Smith Rowe

Emile Smith Rowe has just 47 minutes of football over four fixtures prior to his injury. Hardly a fair number of minutes to give any rating. n/a.

Bukayo Saka

A slow start and one which even garnered some concern at the beginning of the campaign has since turned into a characteristically strong first third. Bukayo Saka has continued to lead the Arsenal forward line in creativity from the right and has the second-most Premier League assists with six.

Add to his five goals across all competitions and it is fair to say Saka’s form has certainly not dipped compared to last. He is on to eclipse his goal-contribution tally from last season, and few would bet against him doing it. 8.

Reiss Nelson

Many thought Reiss Nelson would not be an Arsenal player this season but he was kept with both the player and Mikel Arteta agreeing for him to stay. He has repaid that faith somewhat when given opportunities with the two goals against Nottingham Forest in a brilliant display.

He might not get too many minutes in the next portion of the season, especially with potential January business. However, he has still made his mark but remains on a level well below that of the starters. 5.


Signed from Sao Paulo, Marquinhos arrived with zero expectations on his shoulder and was thought of as one for the future. He still remains that but his debut in the Europa League raised what people thought of him as he claimed both a goal and an assist.

Since then, he hasn’t been able to match the lofty burst onto the scene. There is talk of potentially a loan in January which would be a savvy move for the 19-year-old to play regularly at the senior level. 5.

Gabriel Martinelli

A fan favourite and a quietly spoken forward in attack who just needs a pen to commit to his Arsenal future. A player from abroad who has completely absorbed what it is to be an Arsenal player and perform under Mikel Arteta.

Gabriel Martinelli is scoring goals, creating goals and being a complete nightmare for opposition teams. He has earned his spot in the Brazil squad with his performances this season and remains one of the hottest properties in his age bracket in the game. 8.

Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus has been the hardest player to rate in this entire squad. No matter what I gave, and I limited myself to whole numbers, I thought the result was either too harsh or not critical enough.

His five goals this season, to be blunt, should be higher. He has been given opportunities which he should be scoring, and he could even be in double digits right now if he had the composure and confidence he was showing when he first arrived.

That said, there is little doubt in my mind that Jesus’ contributions and weekly performances are one of the primary reasons why Arsenal find themselves at the top of the league. Not since Alexis Sanchez have I seen a player’s actions so infectious on a side and everyone else has raised their game due to him. But a striker needs to score, so let’s hope his form returns after the World Cup. 7.

Eddie Nketiah

There has always been something about Eddie Nketiah that I find difficult to work out. There’s obviously talent, and this current managerial group, I feel, wouldn’t have been as keen to renew the forward’s contract if they didn’t believe he could succeed at the club.

However, I expected more from Nketiah after how he ended last season. No, he isn’t starting in the league, but he has got consistent starts in the midweek fixtures outside of the league action and the three goals from his 19 appearance don’t encourage me to argue that his renewal was yet justified.

Chances could be slim going into the new year barring a lack of signings and injuries. Yet I continue to hope that Nketiah finds his spark and begins showing again what there was that made so many believe in him. 5.


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