Arsenal season player ratings as star man leads by example alongside Gunners revelation

Arsenal came so close to ending their two-decade wait for a Premier League title but couldn’t end Manchester City’s dominance despite a standout campaign for Mikel Arteta’s men

Mikel Arteta was so close to toppling a Premier League juggernaut.

Ultimately, Arsenal fell just short again in the title race with Manchester City, pushing Pep Guardiola’s side all the way to the final game, only to miss out by two points. But no-one can doubt their progress under Arteta.

Gunners boss Arteta has, in the space of four-and-a-half years, turned Arsenal from a laughing stock into genuine contenders. They reached the Champions League quarter-finals but qualified for next year and the hope is that, with a couple of additions, will be back stronger next year.

Here’s how Arsenal’s main players fared this season:

David Raya – 8

It was an unpopular decision to replace fans favourite Aaron Ramsdale with Raya but the Spaniard has been superb. He won the Premier League Golden Glove and has grown into the role as he has played out from the back.

Ben White – 8

Fabulous, standout season for the right-back who was brilliant in defence and superb on the overlap with his understanding with Bukayo Saka. Surely now the best right-back in the Premier League.

William Saliba – 9

One of only two players – along with Wolves ’ Max Kilman – to have played every minute of the Premier League season. And barely put a foot wrong in any of them. Imagine if he had not got injured last season…

Gabriel – 8

Uncertain of his future last summer amid interest from Saudi Arabia but when he got back in he was great and solid. His partnership with Saliba the rock on which Arsenal’s defence is built.

Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba have formed a rock solid partnership in defence ( Image: Getty Images)

Jakub Kiwior – 7

Had a great run after the turn of the year and filled in at left-back to show he’s a good squad member.

Takehiro Tomiyasu – 7

You suspect might not play as regularly next season when Jurrien Timber is fit… but did ever so well at left-back.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7

Good on the ball and brings it out even if he is suspect defensively at times. Decision to be made on his future this summer.

Declan Rice – 9

What a first season at Arsenal. At £105m, has got to be one of the bargains of the season. Brilliant as an anchorman and also a No.8. Absolute class player and great leader.

Jorginho – 7

Definitely deserves a big-up. Played an important role to fill in, offered experience and quality all while managing his body. Well worth his extra year contract.

Martin Odegaard has been immense for Arsenal this season ( Image: Getty Images)

Martin Odegaard – 9.5

My star man. Brilliant player. Leader, led from the front and delivered incredible energy with his performances. A world class player who set the tone for the season. World class.

Thomas Partey – 6

Bit part player at the end. So many injuries. Decision to be made whether to stick or twist. Not bad for a player who could have left last summer.

Leandro Trossard – 8

What a fantastic season – often deadly from the bench. Contributed important goals and assists. While he lacks Martinelli’s pace, his option from the wide areas and also in the middle makes him a brilliant player for Arsenal.

Gabriel Martinelli – 7

Electric pace. But injuries and then a drop in form cost him at various, important parts of the season. A fully fit Martinelli is electric and has turbo pace. They need him back next season.

Bukayo Saka (R) has been outstanding again while Kai Havertz (L) proved his doubters wrong ( Image: Getty Images)

Bukayo Saka – 8

Goals and assists on tap. So reliable, so consistent but even he looked tired at points. Could do with a rest but is way too important for that. Looks brilliant with his crossing.

Gabriel Jesus – 7

Injuries played a part. Still a class act and really looks sensational in the Champions League. But do Arsenal upgrade with a new centre forward? He looks a bit wayward with his finishing and misses too many games.

Kai Havertz – 8

What a revelation. Slow start, took a while to adjust but was just sensational in the last two thirds of the season. Brilliant technical player, great runs and good character too. So good that Arsenal may have revised their transfer plans this summer and are likely to go for a younger No9.

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