With the Premier League season drawing to a close today, we’re taking a look back at Arsenal’s top five Players of the Season for 2018/19.
Arsenal have had a mixed campaign overall, dropping out of both cup competitions fairly early on and narrowly missing out on top four in the Premier League, whilst also reaching their first European final in 13 years through the Europa League.
There have been plenty of heroes and villains throughout the season, but let’s have a look at the five who have performed the most consistently for the Gunners.
5. Aaron Ramsey
Ramsey may have had his minutes cut short by Unai Emery in the opening months of the campaign and an injury in the final few weeks, but he’s made this a final campaign to remember nonetheless.
The Welshman scored six goals and provided eight assists from midfield in all competitions, including memorable goals against Napoli and Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal had their best few weeks of 2019 when Ramsey was starting regularly, immediately before his injury, and they’ll have to figure out how to replicate that in his absence.
4. Laurent Koscielny
At the start of the season, many Arsenal fans had all but written off Koscielny after his Achilles tendon rupture last May. One year on, and he’s back in the team as a nailed-on starter proving that he’s not finished quite yet.
Making almost 30 appearances for the senior side, Koscielny has captained Arsenal through every match of the Europa League knockout rounds and to a number of big results in the Premier League as well.
He was part of the defence that kept clean sheets in wins against Chelsea, Napoli (twice) and Manchester United, and only drew with Spurs thanks to a Shkodran Mustafi mistake and an incorrect offside decision. Hopefully, he’ll end the campaign by leading the defence to another clean sheet in Baku.
3. Bernd Leno
Leno had to bide his time and wait for opportunities this season, with Petr Cech initially ahead of him in Arsenal’s starting lineup. However, he’s since become Unai Emery’s number one goalkeeper and kept nine clean sheets despite an underperforming defence in front of him.
The double save against Spurs really should’ve got Arsenal the three points that day, and Leno’s excellent performances against Manchester United and Chelsea were just as important as Koscielny’s in defence. Arsenal fans have really taken to the 27-year-old the longer the season has gone on, which is rare for a goalkeeper at the Emirates.
With Cech retiring, Leno will need to keep on top of his game next season if Arsenal are going to push for trophies.
2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang has been Arsenal’s main man in front of goal, scoring 31 and assisting seven so far. Though he’s missed his fair share of big chances, the fact they keep falling his way is a testament to his intelligent movement, regardless of where he plays and which teammates are supporting him in the attack.
Most recently, Aubameyang’s four goals against Valencia in the Europa League semi-final made a difficult tie look easy, and Arsenal will be relying on him to produce a similar level of performance in Baku later this month.
For the striker’s first full season in the Premier League, Arsenal fans couldn’t have asked for much more. Not many players can score 22 league goals and win the Golden Boot in their first year in England.
1. Alexandre Lacazette
Lacazette may not have scored quite as many as Aubameyang, with 19 goals and 11 assists so far, but he’s been crucial to any success Arsenal have had this season.
There’s no doubting the striker in the big games, as he scored seven and assisted four against the big six, Napoli and Valencia this campaign. He also won a penalty against Manchester United, and he forced an own goal at Old Trafford, so those 11 goal contributions in the big matches don’t even tell the whole story.
As well as direct goal contributions, Lacazette has shown his worth to the team through his excellent work rate without possession and his ever-improving link-up play. He was voted the Arsenal fans’ Player of the Season and with good reason.
The best part of Lacazette’s performances is that he’s worked so well with Aubameyang and built such a strong relationship with his strike partner. Let’s hope for more of the same next year, after one last push in the Europa League final.