Arsenal confirmed their Player of the Month award nominees for June this week, and it’s not an easy group to pick a winner from.

Arsenal's Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta (R) gestures with Arsenal's English striker Bukayo Saka at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on June 25, 2020. (Photo by Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by MIKE HEWITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta (R) gestures with Bukayo Saka on June 25, 2020. (Photo by MIKE HEWITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal nominated Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney, Granit Xhaka and Nicolas Pepe for their June Player of the Month award this week. Arguably, all of them have a good claim to the prize after their recent performances.

Saka played four different roles in Arsenal’s four matches in June, and he did well in each of them. His late run against Sheffield United led to the winning goal, he provided an assist against Brighton and ended the month with a contract extension.

Finally fit and starting a run of matches, Arsenal summer signing Tierney was Man of the Match in the quarter-final win over Sheffield United. He also caught the eye in starts against Manchester City and Southampton.

Nicolas Pepe was Arsenal’s top scorer in June. He curled an excellent effort in against Brighton before calmly slotting away a penalty in Sheffield. He’s in great form at the moment and the team look more dangerous with him in it.

June was arguably one of the months where we most keenly saw the impact Granit Xhaka has on the team. He picked up an injury in the early stages of the game against City, and Arsenal struggled for the rest of that match and the trip to Brighton.

Then, Xhaka returned for the wins over Southampton and Sheffield United. He had a big part to play from midfield in both matches, transforming Arsenal’s build-up play.

Arguably there were other contenders too, like Emi Martinez, who did well after Bernd Leno’s injury. Or Eddie Nketiah, who scored against Southampton to help Arsenal start winning again.

It’s just nice to have options again, rather than scraping the barrel for nominees.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.