For the third time running, it’s been a pretty underwhelming season for Arsenal Football Club. Targets haven’t been met and it seems like the transfer window will be quiet too. While it’s easy to criticise Unai Emery, the players need to take the blame too for some of this season’s failures. With that being said, I decided to review every single player in 100 words or less as well as rate their season out of 10.
*Must have played in at least five senior games, this season.
Petr Cech | My Rating: 6/10
The legendary goalkeeper had a pretty average final season. While he did make some crucial saves here and there for Arsenal he also made a lot of common errors too. I’m not quite sure why he was taught a completely different style of playing football because it was never going to work out well for him. He obviously lacked some confidence on the ball and I think most of the criticism he received for his build-up and ball control wasn’t actually justified.
Bernd Leno | My Rating: 7.5/10
It’s been a good year for Arsenal’s new number one. While he had to wait for his opportunity at the start of the season, his performances have proven that he will improve the team, unlike previous goalkeepers for the club. Some of his saves have helped the team win games while on other times they’ve secured the score. However, I am a little concerned about his consistency. Like with Cech, the 27-year-old has made errors on the ball and his positioning has been off a few times too.
Arsenal goalkeepers average rating – 6.8/10
Hector Bellerin | My Rating: 9/10
Despite his limited number of performances due to injury, Hector Bellerin had a fantastic season at the club. His overall game has improved significantly in the last year. His link-up and crossing have improved considerably along with his defensive work. He was a crucial component in Unai Emery’s initial system and his injury, unfortunately, derailed it. If the Spaniard never suffered his injury, I definitely think this season would’ve turned out differently.
Stephan Lichtsteiner | My Rating: 2/10
It’s a shame it never worked out well for him. Given our lack of depth at right-back, I was excited at Stephan Lichtsteiner’s arrival at the club. However, the 35-year-old never really adjusted to English football. Most of his performances were underwhelming at best and he was soon dropped from the first team for Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Carl Jenkinson | My Rating: 3/10
The boyhood dream continues. It’s hard not to love Carl Jenkinson, he’s living the dream of million’s of people. It’s a shame his tenure at the club never went according to plan. Despite returning and playing for the club for the first time in a few years, his limited performances have been average at best. A move away in the summer would probably be the best option for all parties.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles | My Rating: 6/10
It’s been an encouraging season. I wanted to see Ainsley Maitland-Niles get some playing time in midfield but it unfortunately never happened. Matteo Guendouzi’s emergence and Lichtsteiner’s lacklustre performances forced the young Englishman to a defensive role, once again. His versatility is an asset to the team but I do feel like he’s being wasted and his performances have been inconsistent. Next season, I’d love to see him get opportunities in midfield or even further forward on the right flank.
Shkodran Mustafi | My Rating: 4/10
I really don’t know what to say. Shkodran Mustafi can actually do a good job on the pitch at times but he lets himself down because of his atrocious concentration and poor decision-making skills. In most cases, his performances are overshadowed by a schoolboy error he’s made on the pitch and he never seems to make up for it. I’m not sure what club would be interested in signing a player like Mustafi but he should be sold in the transfer window.
Sokratis | My Rating: 6/10
Personally, I felt underwhelmed when Arsenal announced the signing of Sokratis from Borussia Dortmund. Overall, he has succeeded my expectations this season, but they were never that high to begin with. He’s had some great performances for the club but he’s been rather unreliable too. Like with all other Arsenal defenders, he’s made errors but he at least makes up for it with his defensive work. Regardless, as I’ve said it many times before, Arsenal should’ve signed Issa Diop instead.
Rob Holding | My Rating: 7/10
It’s a shame an injury disrupted his development. In the early stages of the league season, Rob Holding was finally playing the football of his life. His defensive work had improved considerably and he was a lot more composed. Considering how poor the defender was prior to this season, I’m hoping his performances last year were a step in the right direction and not just a bit of good form. Hopefully, he can build on his performances when he fully returns from his injury and becomes the defender the club lacks.
Laurent Koscielny | My Rating: 6/10
I can’t believe I’m saying this in June 2019 but Laurent Koscielny is still our best defender. Despite suffering a career-threatening injury last year to Atletico Madrid, many thought the Frenchman’s career was over. However, the 33-year-old has done tremendous work to return to the Arsenal lineup and he’s still delivered some top performances. He’s obviously past his best and hasn’t had a stand-out season but the defender can still do a job when called upon. I hope this season isn’t the last of Koscielny at Arsenal.
Nacho Monreal | My Rating: 3/10
The 33-year-old had an okay season at best and it’s obvious he’s just not as good as he was a few years ago. Previously, he was one of our most consistent performers in the team but nowadays he’s one of the biggest liabilities instead. Sure, he could probably do a decent job against a smaller side but I think the time is right for Nacho Monreal to leave the club this summer.
Sead Kolasinac | My Rating: 3/10
It just hasn’t been the year for Arsenal left-backs. Just like with the aforementioned Monreal, Sead Kolasinac has also had a decent season at best for Arsenal. Despite taking up an integral role in Emery’s philosophy, the Bosnian defender hasn’t lived up to expectations. His defensive contribution is underwhelming, he struggles to take players on, and he isn’t a good crosser or passer either. If it was up to me, the 25-year-old would be one of the first players I’d sell from Arsenal.
Lucas Torreira | My Rating: 7/10
It has been a promising season for the Uruguayan. The 23-year-old hit the ground running in his first few months at the club but has dipped in form slightly since the start of the calendar year. His influence in midfield has been crucial and he should get even better in the next few years. He’s not afraid to get stuck in and win the ball or make an important tackle either. Elsewhere, it’s been interesting watching him perform alongside Granit Xhaka because I think they compliment one another in midfield.
Granit Xhaka | My Rating: 7/10
During a season where most players have failed to perform to expectations, Granit Xhaka is one of the few that can hold his head high. His influence in the first team has been crucial and we’ve always looked significantly worse in his absence. His work on the ball and passing range have been important to the way in which Emery wants the team to play. However, despite the good season, the midfielder is still quite error-prone and lacks concentration at times too which are both major causes for concern for the midfield.
Aaron Ramsey | My Rating: 8/10
The treatment from Arsenal towards Aaron Ramsey this season has been disgraceful. Despite having his new contract retracted and also being forced to play a limited number of games, the 28-year-old has been a complete professional and was still one of our best players this season despite his slow start. He’s delivered some exceptional performances like the ones against Napoli and Tottenham and he deserved a better exit from the club. I can’t wait to see him in action for Juventus next season where he’ll hopefully be able to win the league with them.
Mohamed Elneny | My Rating: 2/10
It’s been a very forgettable and lacklustre year for the Egyptian midfielder. Perhaps I’m being a little harsh but I have absolutely no idea how Mohamed Elneny is still an Arsenal player. He’s similar to Jenkinson in the way that he’s not good enough for the Premier League let alone the club.
Matteo Guendouzi | My Rating: 7/10
Arsenal desperately needs to make more signings like Matteo Guendouzi. I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted the 19-year-old’s positive impact at the club this season. While I’d argue he’s overrated a fair bit by Arsenal fans at the moment, there’s no denying his talent and positive season at the club. His mentality to adjust to Premier League football after inconsistent game time with Lorient in Ligue 2 deserves more recognition. Overall, I’m excited to see how Guendouzi performs next season after a positive year in North London.
Denis Suarez | My Rating: 1/10
It’s hard to say anything about Denis Suarez because his time at Arsenal was simply unforgettable. With just a few inconsistent substitution performances to his name, the Spaniard simply wasn’t good enough and didn’t have the necessary time to have an impact at the club.
Mesut Ozil | My Rating: 4/10
For some reason, this season hasn’t gone to plan for Mesut Ozil. His playing time overall has been reduced by Emery and the current system in place doesn’t suit the 30-year-old whatsoever. His creativity, in particular, has been much worse in comparison to the previous seasons. While we’ve seen some moments of brilliance from the German midfielder, we all know he’s capable of doing much better in the team. Considering the reported tension between the German and Emery, it’ll be interesting to see if he remains as an Arsenal player next season.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan | My Rating: 3/10
It’s been another hit-or-miss season for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the Premier League. Ever since he joined Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund, the Armenian has failed to make a significant impact in the league and the same has happened in his first full season as an Arsenal player. The 30-year-old can do a decent job when called upon and is actually a good squad player to have in the team. However, when taking into consideration his detrimental wage, Arsenal should do whatever it takes to move him on in the summer, it’d be the best move for all parties involved.
Joe Willock | My Rating: 7/10
It’s been a fantastic turnaround for Joe Willock. Last season, the midfielder looks rather average in his few performances in the senior team but this has all changed this season thanks to the work of Freddie Ljungberg. He’s been spectacular for the u23s and has been significantly better in the first team. His performance against Blackpool, in particular, was a highlight for the Englishman along with his brief cameo in the Europa League final versus Chelsea. Joe Willock deserves more game time in the first team next season.
Emile Smith-Rowe | My Rating: 5/10
It’s been an okay season for Emile Smith-Rowe. The 18-year-old delivered a few promising performances in the Europa League for the club and even scored a few goals too. It’s a shame his short loan spell at RB Leipzig didn’t work out well but that’s not surprising given his injury problems earlier in the year. While it’d be nice to see him play for Arsenal next season, I think sending him out on a season-long loan will be better for his development.
Eddie Nketiah | My Rating: 5/10
It’s time for Eddie Nketiah to shine at senior level. It’s a shame the forward hasn’t received more playing time for Arsenal this season but he’s looked promising in the limited games he’s featured in. Just like with Smith-Rowe, I think a loan move away to either a Bundesliga or Championship side would be the right move for Nketiah at this stage of his career.
Danny Welbeck | My Rating: 6/10
For the third time, it’s a massive shame an injury kept Danny Welbeck out for a majority of the season. Even though he was mostly being used off the bench, the Englishman was a great backup option to have at the club. It’s a shame he will not be given a new contract because I think he still has something to offer but at the same time it’s probably the right move for Welbeck himself.
Alex Iwobi | My Rating: 6/10
It’s been yet another inconsistent season from Alex Iwobi. It’s frustrating to watch him because after a few good performances it seems like he’s about to reach that next level before he drops off to his old self again. He’s a good option to have in the team but I feel like time’s running out for him to excel and be a mainstay in the side. Depending on how Emery chooses the lineup next season, I’d love to see him experiment with Iwobi as a more advanced midfielder as opposed to playing him out wide.
Alexandre Lacazette | My Rating: 8/10
It’s been a good season for Alexandre Lacazette but I don’t think he’s worthy of being our ‘Player of the Season’. The Frenchman’s overall game and influence in big matches has been tremendous to watch but his lack of goals is a major cause for concern. Even though the team has been poor creatively, a player of his ability should be scoring 20 goals a season at the very minimum. While you can argue his assists make up for it, I’d have to disagree. If he remains at the club then he must do better next season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | My Rating: 9/10
It’s been a world-class season for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Despite being shifted out of position at times as well as playing in the least creative Arsenal team for the last few years, it’s a miracle the Gabonese forward was able to score more than 30 goals this season. The criticism he receives for missing chances is mostly unjustified because it’s his incredible movement in and around the box that gets him into the right position to receive the ball. We’re significantly worse without him and he’s one of the players the team must be built around next season.