Arsenal

Ranking the 7 best Arsenal players right now in 2024

Arsenal are in the driver’s seat of the Premier League to start the 2023/24 season and expectations are high for a team that came agonizingly close to a beautiful title triumph over Manchester City.

The Gunners added a new superstar this past summer in Declan Rice, beating out City in order to secure the signature of the West Ham midfielder.

He joins familiar faces in leading the way for Arsenal in their Premier League title charge. With about half the season over, let’s take a look at who the best seven players are for the North London side right now.

7. Oleksandr Zinchenko, LB

Oleksandr Zinchenko has been his usual metronomic self as a passer, dictating play from the left-hand side as an auxiliary midfielder in the Mikel Arteta system.

The former Manchester City man leads all Arsenal players with 2.2 tackles won per game, entrenching himself as one of the best players at his position in the English top flight and one of his team’s most important players overall.

6. Gabriel Martinelli, LW

Gabriel Martinelli is a goal-scoring winger who can stand toe-to-toe with anyone else on the left wing in the Premier League.

The Brazilian international hasn’t been producing the goals and assists like last season, but the underlying numbers remain impressive.

Martinelli is averaging 1.6 key passes per game and 1.6 dribbles completed per match, as the U23 standout continues to do all the little things to help piece together attacks for the Gunners.

5.. Gabriel Magalhães, CB

Another great Brazilian player in this Arsenal side, Gabriel is a stone wall in defense. William Saliba receives significantly more mainstream praise, but Gabriel is legitimately just about as good as the young Frenchman.

In the prime of his career at the age of 26, Gabriel is an absolute warrior in central defense and one of the best one-on-one defenders you will see in European football. He rarely gets beat on the ground or in the air.

On the ball, Gabriel also gets the job done and is one of the better goal-scoring center backs in world football.

4. William Saliba, CB

The other half of arguably the best center back duo in world football, William Saliba has been even more active in central defense for the Premier League leaders and is just as prolific as Gabriel at winning one-on-ones.

Arguably the best center back in Ligue 1 before returning to Arsenal in 2022/23, Saliba has earned a reputation as arguably the very best central defender in England, too.

Excellent as a passer, swift at recovering in defense, and increasing in experience, Saliba is as good as everyone says he is. The people criticizing him as overrated are simply trying too hard to be edgy.

3. Martin Ødegaard, CM

Arsenal’s leader, Martin Ødegaard nearly fired Arsenal to the Premier League title in 2022/23, scoring several important goals while being the creative impetus for the North London side.

Ødegaard is averaging 2.3 key passes per game this season. The midfielder is one of the best creators in English football, just as he was in Spanish football for Real Sociedad a few seasons ago when he first broke out on the global stage.

2. Declan Rice, DM

Declan Rice has already had an even more profound impact on Arsenal than Martin Ødegaard.

That shouldn’t be taken as a slight to the Norwegian star but rather as a complement to the former West Ham man’s ability to step up in the Premier League title race.

Rice is a perfect professional as a world-class holding midfielder, proving to be the missing ingredient for the Gunners. It’s not that the other options for Arsenal have been bad, per se, but to compete with Manchester City, they needed Rice’s class.

The 24-year-old is completing over 91 percent of his passes and has scored three goals to boot. Defensively, he’s as composed as they come in reading the game, averaging 2.1 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game.

Rice can put himself right there with any deep-lying midfielder in world football right now. He is that good

1. Bukayo Saka, RW

As brilliant as players like William Saliba, Martin Ødegaard, and Declan Rice are, there can be no doubt that Bukayo Saka is the best player on Arsenal right now.

Saka is challenging Liverpool icon Mohamed Salah as the best right winger in world football and will be on Ballon d’Or favorite lists for years and years to come.

The England international is 22, yet he is one of the most accomplished players in European football right now. Saka has five goals and six assists this season with underlying statistics that are somehow even more impressive.

He is averaging 2.6 key passes, 2.4 fouls drawn, 1.7 dribbles completed, and even 2.1 tackles per game. Even the word “outstanding” seems like it sells Saka’s all-around impact on Arsenal short.

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