Arsenal winners and losers this season – Quartet struggling as four others set benchmark

Brighton v Arsenal: Match in pictures

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Arsenal’s season started in disasterous fashion, but Mikel Arteta’s side have turned things around at the Emirates. Although some players have stepped up for the Gunners boss, some are still lagging behind.

Arsenal have shrugged off a terrible start and completely turned around their form, having taken 10 points from a possible 12 in the Premier League heading in to the October international break.

The Gunners started abysmally and they lost their first three league matches, as the pressure piled on Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta due to him recording the club’s worst ever start to a campaign in their 118-year history.

Arteta’s job now seems secure once more, and it finally looks as though he has got his side playing his style of football, with their breakthrough game coming as Arsenal beat north London rivals Tottenham 3-1 at the Emirates.

Select players have performed wonderfully under Arteta and turned around the club’s fortunes, but some still appear to be struggling.

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Arsenal were the biggest Premier League spenders during the recent transfer window, as the club spent £150million on Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares and Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Arteta’s side looked lost during the opening month of the season, but after the new signings began to gel into the squad, results quickly began to pick up, and now Arsenal can look further up the table.

Arsenal have also started the season without any European football for the first time in 26 years, giving the club even more of a boost to focus on an impressive league finish, given that they were rock bottom after three games.

However, as much as members of Arteta’s squad have really stepped up, he will be relying on strugglers to turn it around following the conclusion of the October international break, and Express Sport has taken a look at which four players fall under each category…


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Emile Smith Rowe

Emile Smith-Rowe looked magnificent for Arsenal against Tottenham, and the new no.10 looks to be loving life after being trusted with a more senior role.

The academy graduate seems to have found his success out wide for Arsenal, and has plenty more to offer under Arteta this season following his recent masterclass against the Gunners’ north London rivals.

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka started on the opposite side to Smith-Rowe against Tottenham, and looms to have shrugged off the summer heartbreak with England and focused his energy into Arsenal this season.

The 20-year-old already finds himself as a rather experienced member of Arteta’s squad, and has proved to be one of Arsenal’s most valuable assets moving forward.

Aaron Ramsdale

Ramsdale found himself on the receiving end of criticism from some of the Arsenal fans following his £30m move from Sheffield United, by the critics have already eaten their words following his bright start to life at the Emirates.

Arsenal are unbeaten with Ramsdale in goal, and look to have found a quality replacement for Bernd Leno, who’s contract expires at the end of the season.

Takehiro Tomiyasu

Tomiyasu seems to have settled into Arsenal’s defence brilliantly and the Japanese international has stabilised things at the back for Arteta since arriving from Bologna in the summer.

The defender is also unbeaten when named in the side, and Arsenal have only conceded one goal while Tomiyasu has been on the field, as Heung Min Son grabbed a consolation for Tottenham.


Bernd Leno

With Ramsdale doing so well, Leno automatically misses out and the German appears to have been made second choice following the young Englishman’s arrival.

Leno had been criticised for his performances compared to Emiliano Martinez who the club let go instead, but it looks likely that now the German will exit the club also upon his contract expiry.

Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal’s record signing is also on the fringes, as due to the success of Smith-Rowe and Saka, Nicolas Pepe has been left watching from the bench.

Although Pepe hasn’t been a total flop, his £72m price tag has not been justified, and the Ivorian must shown his character to make it back into the Arsenal side.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Although Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has now netted twice in the Premier League for Arsenal, the Gabonese striker is not as his best.
If he can reach his high standards then the Gunners will be on for an excellent season.

Alexandre Lacazette

Aubameyangs’s former regular strike partner is really struggling though, as Alexandre Lacazette can’t get a look in.
He could follow Leno out the door following the end of the season when his current deal is up.

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