Arsenal’s defensive depth was tested to its limits in the latter stages of the 16/17 season but how did the defenders fare individually over the course of the season?
1Nacho Monreal 6
The rating I’ve given the experienced Spaniard may seem harsh on the surface, but once you watch some of Arsenal’s performances from last season, you’ll quickly understand why.
At 31, he is in the peak years of his career and expects to play on a regular basis. Only Alexis Sánchez with 3,223 minutes, played more often than the left-back for the club this term.
91 interceptions and 62 tackles won are both commendable statistics, though he has only been performing at a consistent level over the past six weeks or so and his weaknesses are still evident to see.
He struggles against pacey attackers and cannot contain their threat. Knowing this, Monreal should make a conscious effort to regularly be in the right place at the right time to thwart the opposition, but his positional awareness is often disorganised and decision-making erratic.
There have been a number of examples, not least Chelsea and Liverpool away this season, where goals have been conceded because he has not shown awareness or a good level of anticipation to react quickly and stop chances on-goal.
Statistics may mask his shortcomings but he’s one of the club’s weaker first-team regulars and Kolasinac’s impending arrival is sure to make him sit up.