Arsenal’s Key Playmakers: Analyzing the Impact of Star Performers



Arsenal has had two incredible seasons in the Premier League. Last season, the Gunners were favourites to lift the EPL until Manchester City showed their superiority in the final 10 games.

This season was no different. Mikel Arteta’s men broke records, picked points against all the Big Six clubs and remained title contenders up to the final match. Had the Gunners lifted the Premier League trophy, no one would have been surprised.

They scored the second-highest number of goals (91)—City scored five more. They had the fewest goals conceded (29) and registered the highest winning percentage in the team’s history (67%).

If you love sports betting, you most definitely enjoyed FC Arsenal bets with smartbettingguide. The Gunners won 28 out of 38 games and were consistently the favorites in most games.

That being said, here are the starts that had the biggest impact on the 2023/24 Arsenal squad.

David Raya (7/10)

David Raya replaced Aaron Ramsdale behind the posts in the first part of the season. He had a few shaky games but eventually became an important piece of the Gunners’ squad.

Raya completed the season with 16 clean sheets, 46 saves and just 24 goals conceded. He also won the Premier League Golden Glove. Some might argue that Raya’s impressive record should be credited in part to Arsenal’s defenders. Still, he made a few incredible saves that helped his club avoid dropping points.

William Saliba (9/10)

William Saliba is a Rolls-Royce of a defender and one of the reasons Arsenal had the best defensive record in the just-concluded season. At 23, the French centre-back plays like a veteran.

Last season, not only did Saliba play every minute of the game (all 38 matches), but also had some of the best defensive stats in the league. He registered two goals, had 18 clean sheets and recovered the ball 154 times throughout the season. Saliba also won 104 aerial duels, 141 tackles and 38 blocks.

Few defenders recover the balls through tackles as much as Saliba did (75 tackles). He also made 160 clearances and had an impressive pass accuracy throughout the season (72%).

To add icing on top, Saliba is one of the most entertaining players in the Arsenal squad. He is calm when approaching attackers, clinical with his tackles and seldom makes costly mistakes.

Gabriel (8.5)

Depending on whom you ask, Gabriel is just as good as William Saliba. He’s a monster defender who isn’t afraid to take down opponents, clear the ball in tight situations and make attempts at scoring when he has the chance.

The Brazilian centre-back registered 36 appearances last season, scored four crucial goals, and helped the team win 27 matches. Additionally, he registered 48 tackles (58% success), blocked six shots and made 97 clearances.

While he had a below-average cross-accuracy (25%), his average pass rate per match (59%) was impressive. The only reason Gabriel ranks below Saliba in our ranking is that the Frenchman had better stats. Gabriel had fewer aerial battles won (79), a lower pass accuracy, fewer tackles and fewer clearances.

Ben White (8.7/10)

If you play Fantasy Premier League, you will appreciate White’s performance last season. He had four goals and four assists, 13 clean sheets and zero red cards. He completed the FPL season with 182 points, ranking second-best in the defensive category.

Ben White’s incredible season made him one of the most important playmakers for Arsenal last season. He’s a solid defender who can attack and create chances. He created seven big chances, won 105 duels and recovered the ball 120 times.

Martin Odegaard (9.3)

The Standard UK believes Martin Odegaard is the best playmaker in Europe. And statistically speaking, they could be right. The Norwegian created 17 big chances for Arsenal, scored eight goals and had 10 assists.

Martin averaged 54 passes per game, had 77 attempts at goal and converted two penalties for the Gunners. When his Champions League stats are included, there’s no doubt Odegaard was one of Arsenal’s best playmakers last season.

The captain participated in nine matches in Europe, scored two goals and made two assists. He had a 99.9% pass accuracy and had overall better stats than his partners in the midfield.

Declan Rice (9.5/10)

Sometimes players who cost too much don’t live up to their price tag. Rice is a different case. The Gunners paid £105m for the 25-yeard old. He proved his worth by leading his team to the UCL quarterfinals and second in the EPL. He also played in every match and had a role in 15 goals (7 goals and 8 assists).

Rice commandeered the midfield like a boss in every match, made vital passes, created nine big chances and helped with defending occasionally. In fact, the English midfielder was involved in defending as much as he was in attack.

He won 156 duels, 39 aerial duels and 178 ball recoveries. He intercepted the ball successfully 44 times and cleared 83 tackles. In other words, Rice did such an amazing job in the midfield that most pundits believe he should win the Player of the Season award.

Kai Havertz (8/10)

Mikel signed Havertz from Chelsea to fill a gap in the midfield. He ended up becoming Arsenal’s No9 of choice. For a player considered a flop at Chelsea, Havertz proved his worth with 13 goals in the Premier League, seven assists and eight big chances.

Havertz played in all but one game, meaning he was present in all of Arsenal’s important matches. The only reason Havertz doesn’t earn a higher score is that he had a handful of big chance misses (13).

Leandro Trossard (8)

It is difficult not to imagine Arsenal would have a better record had Trossard started with more goals. Instead, he mostly appeared as a substitute for Gabriel Martinelli. Despite that, Trossard scored 12 goals in the EPL, some of which were decisive.

Bukayo Saka (9/10)  

Bukayo’s biggest strength is his consistency. He’s available when needed. He shows up in big games and consistently proves that he’s a star performer. Last season, Sake had 16 goals and 9 assists, making him Arsenal’s best forward.

With 15 big chances created, 108 attempts at goal and more than 1300 passes in 35 games, Saka is a favourite to win Arsenal’s Player of the Season award for the third time in his career

One Reply to “Arsenal’s Key Playmakers: Analyzing the Impact of Star Performers”

  1. I can’t disagree with the raings shown above, the challenge now is for them to maintain that standard and perhaps improve. If Havertz rating is based on the whole season then perhaps next year he will be amongst the nines. That said he has missed when it would seem easier to score, that said after taking a while to settle he really delivered in the latter part of the season.

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