Power Ranking Every Player for Arsenal in 2017/18 Season So Far

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2017

Sead Kolasinac has made a fantastic start to life at Arsenal.
Sead Kolasinac has made a fantastic start to life at Arsenal.Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal's season is now 11 games old. The Premier League is beginning to take shape, and proceedings are underway in the Carabao Cup and Europa League. Now seems an appropriate moment to take stock of just how Arsenal's squad members are performing.

There's a different atmosphere around the club to the one at the outset of the previous international break. Arsenal had just been hammered 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield, and their season was on the verge of an early implosion.  

However, they have steadied the ship. The Gunners have not conceded a single league goal since that fixture and have collected six wins from the subsequent seven games.  

In this piece, we rank their squad according to their performances this season. This is a subjective assessment of their contribution to the Arsenal cause throughout 2017/18. It's not purely a quantitative judgement: Some players may only have played a handful of games, but if they've impressed in those matches, they could figure higher than someone who's played every game but failed to shine.

            

25. Calum Chambers

Thus far, injury has restricted Chambers to just 45 minutes of first-team football in the Carabao Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers. It remains to be seen how he'll fit into Arsenal's new 3-4-2-1 system.

         

24. Francis Coquelin 

French midfielder Coquelin is another who has been largely unavailable in the early period of the season. So far he's made just two substitute appearances racking up a grand total of just 69 minutes. 

           

23. Reiss Nelson 

The 17-year-old's first-team tenure has begun with a few fleeting appearances as a wing-back. In the Europa League tie against BATE Borisov there were signs that his confidence is growing—hopefully, he'll soon get the chance to impress in his preferred role behind the striker.

Reiss Nelson is beginning to make an impact in the first team.
Reiss Nelson is beginning to make an impact in the first team.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

           

22. Joseph Willock

Although not the most heralded of Arsenal's current crop of youngsters, central midfielder Willock has built on a good pre-season with a strong start to 2017/18. In Borisov, he showed impressive athleticism to match his obvious technical ability.

             

21. Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Maitland-Niles has effectively replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as manager Arsene Wenger's utility man. Although ostensibly a central midfielder, he has primarily played as a left wing-back and acquitted himself well enough.

             

20. David Ospina 

Given that he has just one year remaining on his contract, this is likely to be Ospina's final season with Arsenal. The early evidence of the season would suggest he's likely to spend it as the second choice, with his shaky performance against BATE Borisov hardly suggesting he is ready to replace Petr Cech.

          

19. Granit Xhaka 

It has been a disappointing start to the season for the Swiss midfielder. His passing has been unusually erratic, and he has not dovetailed as effectively with Aaron Ramsey as he did in 2016/17. He did, however, provide two crucial assists to help Arsenal to their opening day 4-3 win over Leicester City.

         

18. Jack Wilshere 

Arsenal's homegrown hero is back. While we haven't seen too much of Wilshere yet, the early signs have been encouraging. In Belarus, he produced his best Arsenal performance in recent memory, dazzling the opposition defence in a bewitching display as a No. 10.

            

17. Per Mertesacker

Having led Arsenal to FA Cup glory back in May, Mertesacker might have expected to play more regular football this season. However, he has been a constant in Arsenal's cup games, where his experience helps hold unfamiliar lineups together.

                 

16. Rob Holding 

Holding was the breakout star for Arsenal in 2016/17, but he struggled for confidence in the early part of this season. He was particularly poor in the 4-0 mauling at Anfield, and his performance that day saw him effectively dropped from the side for Shkodran Mustafi. Fortunately, his form seems to be recovering somewhat, especially after playing in the clean sheet against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Rob Holding endured a personal nightmare at Anfield.
Rob Holding endured a personal nightmare at Anfield.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

              

15. Shkodran Mustafi

Mustafi is a conundrum. He has so many of the tools required of a top centre-half: athleticism, technical ability and vocal leadership. However, he lacks one crucial element: composure. His tendency to dive in at attackers' feet has undermined his performances this season, and it threatens to do so for the foreseeable future.

         

14. Mesut Ozil

Are Arsenal moving away from a reliance on their German playmaker? He was absent from the crunch game against Chelsea, but the Gunners arguably benefited from his absence with a particularly resolute performance. On the attacking front, his five appearances to date have yielded zero goals and zero assists.

               

13. Alex Iwobi

Nigerian playmaker Iwobi could be one of the men to profit from Ozil's shifting status in the squad. He started at Stamford Bridge and played a key role in a creditable result, and he then opened his account for the season with an emphatic strike against Brighton. 

             

12. Mohamed Elneny 

He's not a spectacular player to watch, but Elneny's performances this season have vindicated Wenger's decision to choose the Egyptian over Oxlade-Chamberlain as his third central midfielder. To his credit, he seems to be trying to be more adventurous with his passing, too.

             

11. Olivier Giroud

Giroud's best moment of 2017/18 might well have come in the first game, when he headed a late winner against Leicester. However, he has since added the 100th goal of his Arsenal career, tucking home from the spot against BATE Borisov.

           

10. Theo Walcott

What a curious player Walcott is. He doesn't seem to fit into any position in this new look Arsenal team, yet put him on the field and he's invariably productive. Three goals already this season have underlined his value to the squad.

Theo Walcott netted a brace against BATE Borisov.
Theo Walcott netted a brace against BATE Borisov.MAXIM MALINOVSKY/Getty Images

            

9. Hector Bellerin 

Since the departure of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bellerin has been able to establish himself as the team's right wing-back. He looks so much more comfortable there than on the left, as was clear when he outplayed Marcos Alonso in the draw against Chelsea.

          

8. Laurent Koscielny 

Arsenal are always a better side when Kosicelny is on the teamsheet. Although Mertesacker is the club captain, Koscielny is effectively the leader of the defence and a key component of the XI. Wenger must manage him carefully to make sure his troublesome Achilles does not keep him out of action too much.

           

7. Aaron Ramsey

It's been a strong start to the season from Ramsey, with the notable exception of a diabolical display at Anfield that saw him withdrawn at half-time. Since then, however, he's bounced back impressively. That's Ramsey's greatest strength: Whatever the circumstances, he never hides.

          

6. Alexis Sanchez

He might not quite have arrived at top form yet, but Alexis has already provided some of the outstanding moments of Arsenal's season so far. Take his goal against Cologne: an awesome and audacious piece of play. Given time, he'll soon revert to being the team's top performer.

           

5. Sead Kolasinac

What a signing Kolasinac appears to be. After a short spell as a centre-half, he has subsequently made the left wing-back spot his own. Including the Community Shield, he has already racked up two goals and two assists—and he didn't cost a penny in transfer fees.

Sead Kolasinac in action against Cologne.
Sead Kolasinac in action against Cologne.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

              

4. Petr Cech

Cech turns 36 this season, but he's showing no signs of slowing. In fact, 2017/18 has seen him produce one of his best runs of form in a Gunners shirt. Even when Arsenal lost 4-0 at Anfield, Cech managed to emerge with some credit.

           

3. Danny Welbeck

The England forward will be cursing his luck that he picked up a groin injury in the match against Chelsea. Prior to that, he had been enjoying an excellent run in the team. Not only had he been doing his defensive duty with customary commitment, but he'd been scoring goals, too. Welbeck is expected to be fit again after the international break and will hope to reclaim his place in the side.

           

2. Alexandre Lacazette

Arsenal can have few complaints about the adaptation of their record signing to the Premier League. Lacazette has already scored four goals, and he would have had more were it not for an incorrect flag against Stoke City and the fact that he's continually substituted early in games. Arsenal appear to have finally found themselves a reliable goalscorer.

         

1. Nacho Monreal

Arsenal's Mr. Consistency has been their most solid performer of the season. He's a natural in that role as the left-sided centre-half, sprinting upfield to win the ball high up the pitch and defending doggedly in his own box. He even managed a goal in the recent win over Brighton—right now, Monreal can't put a foot wrong.

           

James McNicholas is Bleacher Report's lead Arsenal correspondent and follows the club from a London base.

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