Decline and rise: will Arsenal break their PL goal scoring record this season?



By Tony Attwood

This season is not just the season in which Arsenal might well win the league for the first time since 2004, it is also one of the few times (perhaps the only time) when one club has in its team, four of the top 20 goalscorers in the league.  Although to be fair, one of those players has just been transferred and so has brought in his goalscoring record from his previous club – so to avoid that argument let’s stay with three for the moment.

Martinelli with 13 goals in 27 games, Saka with 12 goals in 28 games and Odegaard with 10 goals in 27.  That is a total of 35 goals between them.

Now this is a very unusual model – indeed it is unique this season.  Manchester United for example have Rashford on 14 goals with Fernandes in second position with five.

Haaland as we all know has 28 goals, but after that there is Foden with nine and Alvarez with five, making 42 goals between their top three scorers.  Above Arsenal of course, but not that far above,

But it is when we look at some other teams that we see just how dependent they are on one player.  Tottenham, of course, have Kane with 21 but after that it is Son with six.  An injury to Kane would put them under a lot of pressure to find a new source of goals.

If we look further down the league we can see just how fragile the position of some clubs is.  No one really expected Brentford to do as well as they are doing this season, but in essence, they have one goal scorer: Toney, on 16 in the Premier League.    Second in their list are three players on five each.

Of course, when the top scorer is injured, the club can have another player who is not normally playing step in, but quite often that player will struggle to take up the mantle of the main scorer immediately.  Eddie Nketiah took over the number 9 position for Arsenal, but has only scored four league goals this season.

But it is not just that Arsenal have three players who have scored in double figures for the club this season – through buying  Leandro Trossard the club now has four players in the ranks of 10+ league goals in a season.

Indeed the table below shows us who the top scorer is for each club in the league this season, and then in the fifth column (“No over 8 goals”) how many players there are in the squad who have scored over eight goals.  Then in the final column the total number of goals scored by these top scorers.   Arsenal as we can see are out in the lead with 43 goals from their top scorers.

  Player Club Top scorer No over 8 goals Total by top scorers
1. Erling Haaland Manchester City 28 2 37
2. Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur 21 1 21
3. Ivan Toney Brentford 16 1 16
4. Marcus Rashford Manchester United 14 1 14
5. Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal 13 4 43
6. Bukayo Saka Arsenal 12 43
7. Miguel Almirón Newcastle United 11 1 11
7. Aleksandar Mitrovic Fulham 11 1 11
7. Rodrigo Leeds United 11 1 11
7. Mohamed Salah Liverpool 11 3 27
11. Martin Ødegaard Arsenal 10 4 43
12. Harvey Barnes Leicester City 9 2 18
12. Phil Foden Manchester City 9 2 37
12. James Maddison Leicester City 9 2 18
12. Ollie Watkins Aston Villa 9 1 9
16. Roberto Firmino Liverpool 8 3 27
16. Danny Ings West Ham United 8 1 8
16. Darwin Núñez Liverpool 8 3 27
16. Leandro Trossard Arsenal 8 4 43


This is quite a reversal of policy for Arsenal who in the past have generally sought out players who can knock in the big numbers of goals in a season.  Giroud got 24 in 2015/16, Alexis Sanchez took that up to 30 in 2017/18, while Aubameyang at his peak got 31 in 2018/19 and then 29 the following year.


Season Lge Pos Top scorer Goals Club total goals % by top scorer
2015-16 2nd Olivier Giroud 24 65 40%
2016–17 5th Alexis Sánchez 30 77 39%
2017–18 6th Alexandre Lacazette 17 74 23%
2018-19 5th Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 31 73 42%
2019–20 8th Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 29 56 52%
2020–21 8th Alexandre Lacazette 17 55 31%
2021–22 5th Bukayo Saka 12 61 20%
2022-23* 1st Martinelli 13 66 20%


* As of today after 28 games.  If ratios stay the same Martinelli will end up with 18 goals, and the club with 90 goals – that will again give the top scorer 20% of the goals scored.

But now compare the league position with the top scorer, and you’ll see there is no link.  Aubameyang scored 29 goals in the season we came 8th.  But clearly, there is a plan to spread out the goals – Martinelli getting 20% of Arsenal’s league goals compared with Aubameyang getting over half.

And all this comes before we consider what happens to Folarin Balogun who has scored 17 goals this season in the league in France, and who will, I imagine, be back with Arsenal next season.

The most Arsenal goals scored in a 38 game season was 87 in 2004/5.  That record could be broken this year.

One Reply to “Decline and rise: will Arsenal break their PL goal scoring record this season?”

  1. Talk about Haaland, who is injured but will play against Liverpool trust me. How do such teams do it? Our own Saka can’t even get a breather why are we always good, can’t we for once to a Man$ity and give some of our players a breather.

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