• Bernd Leno. In a season with very few positives so far, Bernd Leno has held his own. The German might not have the most clean sheets to his name, but he has undeniably been one of our standout performers. He has produced the most saves so far this season in the Premier League and has been very dependable between the sticks. The rumoured interest from Bayern Munich is worrying, but hopefully it will amount to nothing. For a goalkeeper, 27-years old is still relatively young, so hopefully Bernd can continue his form into the future. 


  • Héctor Bellerín. Unfortunately, Héctor was unavailable until late-September due to an injury that he suffered in January against Chelsea. The Spaniard was excelling in Emery’s system, but faced an extended spell on the sidelines. He was missed massively during his absence. He returned to the field against Nottingham Forest and provided an assist within one minute of his introduction. Since then, Unai has been wary that reintroducing him to the first XI too quickly could cause the problems to reoccur. His Premier League return was not exactly his finest display, but it’s understandable that he will take some games to reach his best form again. I trust him to come good. 


  • Kieran Tierney. Similarly to Bellerín, Kieran Tierney was initially unavailable due to an injury sustained prior to this season. The Scottish left-back arrived with an impressive reputation, and he hasn’t disappointed. Despite featuring minimally, he has amassed 2 assists so far, and could have many more if it weren’t for numerous chances being spurned by his teammates. Overall, the 22-year old looks like a fantastic talent for the future and I believe that his performances will only improve as the season progresses. 


  • Sokratis Papastahoploulos. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be fully aware that Arsenal have had defensive problems this season. Unfortunately for Sokratis, he has played his part in this. The Greek international has featured in 11/12 Premier League games so far this season and his performances have dropped since his debut season in London, in my opinion. At 31 years of age, I think that his long-term future at the club may be in doubt, particularly with William Saliba arriving in July. 


  • Dani Ceballos. After a phenomenal debut against Burnley, Dani Ceballos has failed to kick on. He hasn’t been the worst player in the squad by any means, but it’s clear to see that he has more to offer. There has been much speculation about the Spaniard’s future, with some suggesting that he will remain at Arsenal, while others claim that he will return to Madrid once the loan deal expires. As of right now, I’m expecting more from him if he hopes to be signed permanently come July. 


  • Alexandre Lacazette. Unfortunately, Lacazette is another player who has been unlucky with injury problems. He scored in each of his opening two starts this season, against Burnley and Spurs, before suffering an ankle issue in the North London derby on September 1st. Since his return, he has managed two assists in three starts, but his level of performance has not matched that which we became accustomed to last season. This is somewhat understandable when you consider the fact that it will take players a few weeks to readjust to first team action after a spell on the sideline, so hopefully he can return to the level that we all know he can perform at. 


  • Mesut Özil. Along with out defensive issues, Mesut Özil has been in the headlines this season. His start to the season was put in jeopardy because of injury and safety issues, but Emery also made it pretty clear that our highest earner was not in his plans. The German featured very sparingly, despite the fact that the team were struggling in his absence and that his performances were to a relatively high level. In the past few weeks, Mesut has been reintroduced into the first team picture. It’s safe to say that he has more to offer than what we’ve seen, similarly to much of the squad. However, similarly to Lacazette, it is more excusable when the player involved has faced a period out of the side, as opposed to those who have been playing games on a weekly basis, with no signs of improvement. 


  • Lucas Torreira. Lucas Torreira has really struggled so far this season. After a fantastic first four months in England, the Uruguayan’s form dipped as he became burnt out due to the lack of a Christmas break which he had become accustomed to in Italy. His form gradually improved towards the end of last season. However, everything has gone wrong so far this campaign. It’s important to acknowledge that this is not only Torreira’s fault. Emery has utilised him in a position which is unnatural to him and doesn’t suit his attributes whatsoever. Lucas is a defensive midfielder, not a creative threat. While his performances haven’t been up to scratch, I think almost everyone in the squad would struggle if they were forced to play in a different position. There have been rumours circulating that he may ask to leave in January. I sincerely hope that a compromise can be reached in the meantime. He would be a huge loss. 


  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Despite the side’s fortunes, Aubameyang has been very dependable. The players around him have really struggled at times, but it hasn’t prevented the Gabon international from finding the net on regular occasions. He has scored a whopping 50% of our Premier League goals and currently sits third in the race for the golden boot. His form has dipped slightly in the last month or so, but the service has been underwhelming during this spell. I trust him to come out the other end of this drought and continue to find the net, as he has done consistently throughout his career. 


  • Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Maitland-Niles has really struggled so far this campaign. He has had two impressive displays, against Newcastle and Liverpool, but these have unfortunately been cancelled out by many poor showings. He was sent off in our fixture with Aston Villa in September, and has since been dropped from the first team in place of Calum Chambers. Questions still remain as to where he is most effective, but he has struggled out wide as well as in defence. Potentially he would be more suited to a central role, but time will tell. Regardless, his performance level must improve or his future could be in doubt. 


  • Rob Holding. Rob Holding is yet another defender who has been unfortunate with injury problems. He faced a long-term problem at Old Trafford last December and only made his return to the first team in September against Nottingham Forest. He scored on his return, but overall his performances haven’t been overly convincing. As mentioned previously, this is somewhat understandable, when you consider just how long he has been out of action for. Hopefully he will be able to return to the level of performance which we became accustomed to during the early stages of last season. 


  • Nicolas Pépé. There have been many people who have been extremely critical of Nicolas Pépé’s start to life in England, but I think it has been largely over-exaggerated. Was I expecting more? Absolutely. However, he has not been as poor as some would like to make out. The system does not play to his strengths, and he has been on the bench for many games, yet he’s still managed seven goals and assists so far. I’m not denying that this must significantly improve between now and May, but most players take time to adapt to the Premier League. Today, Thierry Henry has come out in his defense, claiming that he didn’t put the price-tag on his own head, which is a very fair point. Nicolas himself has also acknowledged that his performances must improve, so hopefully he will be able to put this into practise sooner rather than later. 


  • Shkodran Mustafi. Rather surprisingly, Shkodran Mustafi has been one of our better defenders so far this campaign. Many fans, myself included, were incredibly critical of the German’s performances throughout the 2018/19 season. The former World Cup winner became somewhat of a joke amongst football fans and addressed this in an interview. This opened the eyes of many people to the abuse that he has received. Constructive criticism is fine, personal attacks are not. Since then, the fanbase has made a noticeable effort to get behind him in an attempt to help him find some form. Thankfully, he’s responded on the field. He has only featured in the so-called lesser competitions, but he has been more impressive than most of his centre-back rivals. He certainly hasn’t been faultless, as demonstrated by an own-goal at Anfield in the League Cup, but I have been pleasantly surprised by his displays overall. 


  • Calum Chambers. Calum Chambers is another defender who has surpassed my expectations so far this season. He was voted Fulham’s player of the season last season, but there was a major step-up involved when he returned to Arsenal following a successful loan spell. He has largely been deployed at right-back, which I don’t class as his natural position. Nonetheless, he has been relatively impressive. He provided three assists against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup as well as scoring the equaliser in our comeback against Aston Villa. There have been times where his lack of mobility or final ball have been detrimental to the side in the final third, but this isn’t solely down to him. Hopefully he can be given a chance to prove himself in central defense, as he was very impressive when utilised there on the opening day of the season. 


  • David Luiz. When David Luiz arrived on deadline, many eyebrows were raised. The former Brazilian international was renowned as a gifted footballer in terms of his on the ball ability, but a loose cannon from a defensive standpoint. Since his arrival, he has started every one of our league games so far this season, with the exception of the opener at Saint James’ Park. While it’s important to acknowledge that he has made a few individual errors, specifically at Anfield and Vicarage Road, he has been more impressive that numerous other defenders this campaign. He’s also been key from an attacking standpoint, contributing two goals since his arrival, as well as playing a key role in Aubameyang’s goal vs Wolves. He was brought in as a short-term solution until Saliba arrives, and he’s been decent so far. His leadership off the field has been key and he has played an important role in helping Gabriel Martinelli settle. I might be on my own here, but I think he’s proven to be a smart acquisition so far. 


  • Reiss Nelson. Reiss Nelson returned from his loan spell in Germany with a much higher reputation than when he left for Hoffenheim. Despite featuring sparingly due to injury problems as well as unfavourable selection from the manager, the teenager had shown glimpses of brilliance. The quality of football in Germany is lower than the Premier League, so many were curious to see if he’d be able to make the necessary step-up. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out for him as of yet. He started our opening two Premier League fixtures and failed to make a notable impact on either fixture. Many fans have already started to turn their backs on him, particularly either the emergence of Bukayo Saka. However, for me, it’s important to keep the faith. Reiss is still only 19. Almost all young players face a drop in form at some stage or another. He needs us now more than ever. Once he returns from his injury, we should all get behind him in an attempt to maximize his chances of success.


  • Emiliano Martinez. Emiliano Martinez returned from his loan spell at Reading with a point to prove. The Argentinian has an extremely successful six-month spell in the Championship and made it clear that he was in search of first team minutes at Arsenal. Whilst he’s failed to get any Premier League minutes under his belt, he has been trusted with both Europa League and League Cup fixtures. Apart from our trip to Anfield, he has given a good account of himself overall. He is a competent shot stopper who seemingly gets on well with everyone in the dressing room. Similarly to Luiz, he’s been key in helping Martinelli feel at home in London. His performances have earned him various call-ups to the Argentina National Team squad, which is no less that he deserves. Overall, he’s a very solid second choice goalkeeper. 


  • Joe Willock. Following Aaron Ramsey’s departure, Joe Willock found himself with an opportunity to make the central midfield position his own. He gave a good account of himself in pre-season, earning himself a start in each of our first three Premier League games. Since then, he hasn’t been utilised as regularly, but he is having a successful season nonetheless. Despite the fact that many of his recent performances have come in the cup competitions, Willock has found the net on four occasions so far this campaign. This is a very respectable tally when you account for the amount of games that he’s been omitted from and the fact that he plays in midfield. His recent form hasn’t been up to the standard that we saw earlier in the season, but that could be said for almost every first team member. I believe that he’ll prove to be a valuable asset to the club, in the long run. 


  • Mattéo Guendouzi. Although his performance level has dropped slightly in recent weeks, Mattéo Guendouzi has been one of the standout performers at Arsenal this season. In recent years, many fans and pundits have described Arsenal players as individuals who will disappear when the going gets tough. You could argue that the opposite applies in the case of Guendouzi. He seems to thrive when the team are up against it. Some prime examples of this were seen when we came back from 2-0 down in the North London derby to salvage a point and in our 10-man comeback against Aston Villa. The 20-year old has earned himself not one but two call-ups to the French senior squad. Albeit, these have been influenced by injuries, but it’s an incredible feat nonetheless. Not only are France the current world champions, they also have some of the best squad depth on the planet. For any player so young to be getting opportunities to prove themselves in that environment is a mean feat. Hopefully the last few weeks will prove to be a blip in an otherwise successful career at Arsenal. 


  • Sead Kolašinac. Sead Kolašinac has really struggled so far this season. We’re all aware that he is suspect defensively, but he has added little-to-no attacking quality while he has been involved. Although assists aren’t always an accurate reflection of a player’s creativity, Kieran Tierney has already overtaken his tally for the season, within his first three games. The Scotsman has also completed significantly more successful crosses, despite playing far less minutes. In our last match, Emery reverted to a five at-the-back system, possibly to get the best out of Sead. Unfortunately, the Bosnian failed to take advantage and produced yet another mediocre display. I’d much prefer to see Tierney involved in league fixtures from here on in. 


  • Granit Xhaka. Granit Xhaka has come under a lot of scrutiny this season, and I personally feel very sorry for him. As I mentioned regarding Mustafi, constructive criticism is fine. However, targeting his wife, his newly-born daughter and Granit himself with vile threats is simply unacceptable. I’m not saying that he should be playing two games per week for the entirety of the season, but Xhaka doesn’t pick the lineup himself. He gives his all in every game, regardless of your opinion of his ability. If Emery feels like he should be playing week-in, week-out, then take the issue up with him, rather than booing players off the field. His Arsenal career is seemingly over, as he has allegedly began house-hunting in Italy. Interest from Newcastle has also been reported. Personally, I’m gutted. Not because he is irreplaceable, or the best player at the club, but because we have broken the man to the extent that he feels that it is impossible to repair. 


  • Gabriel Martinelli. Wow. What a find! Hats off to Edu Gaspar and all others involved. The 18-year old has taken England by storm so far. Albeit, he hasn’t been as effective in domestic fixtures, but he is currently the leading teenage goalscorer in Europe’s top five leagues with seven goals in less than 500 minutes. The £6m fee paid to Ituano is quickly looking like one of our biggest bargains in recent years. It’s important to keep everything in perspective, but there is certainly a top player in there. Whether he will reach his immense potential or not remains to be seen, but if he does, he will be almost impossible to stop. 


  • Bukayo Saka. Bukayo Saka has been yet another top addition to the first team squad. The youngster started his first game of the season against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League, and the world took notice. Two assists and a goal earned him the man of the match award, and he has been in and around the first team squad ever since. Impressive displays at Old Trafford and Anfield have also added to his ever-increasing reputation. There is still a lot to learn, and his playtime may be cut short with the return of Alexandre Lacazette from injury, but he has certainly shown signs of promise thus far. 


What have you made of our stars’ performances so far this season? If there are any differing opinions or additional thoughts, feel free to let me know in the comments section below. As always, thank you for reading!