Arsenal season player ratings: Rice and Saliba star but questions over Martinelli and Zinchenko

A season in which the title race went down to the last day of the season and saw the return of Champions League football to the Emirates ultimately ended without Arsenal winning any silverware.

Despite another season without a trophy, Mikel Arteta’s side built on their promising campaign last season to mount a serious title challenge to Manchester City, taking it to the final day and ultimately missing out on the title by two points.

Key signings were made in multiple positions but this summer will be key to further revamp the squad as they look to make sure next season ends with at least one trophy.

Here is how we rated the Arsenal squad this season…

David Raya – 8

Arriving last summer and swiftly becoming Arsenal’s number one, Raya has proven to be a strong addition to the Gunners. Despite a few errors during the campaign, the Spaniard ended the season with the golden glove.

Aaron Ramsdale – 5

Ramsdale lost his place in the starting 11 to Raya and when he did play, wonderful saves were partnered with numerous mistakes in his limited appearances. A move away is looking likely.

Ben White – 8

Taken his form up to the next level this season, adding goals and assists to his game whilst becoming an better defender. A sure fire starter for the Gunners.

Takehiro Tomiyasu – 6.5

Another injury hit campaign for the Japanese international, but when he did play, Tomiyasu performed admirably. A suitable understudy who was always reliable when called upon.

William Saliba – 8.5

A brilliant defender who Arsenal hope will be a staple of the side for years to come. Strong, quick and incredibly intelligent, Saliba has been one of the players of the season for the Gunners.

Gabriel – 8

Dropped at the start of the season, the Brazilian responded just the way Mikel Arteta would have wanted him to. He never put a foot wrong for the rest of the campaign and formed one of, if not perhaps the best, defensive partnerships in the league.

Jakub Kiwior – 7

The young Polish defender was drafted in as a left full-back for most of the second half of the season and performed well as Arsenal conceded just nine goals in the league in 2024.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6

Injuries and poor form resulted in Kiwior and Tomiyasu being preferred to the Ukrainian at left-back. Mainly featured off the bench but still contributed throughout the campaign.

Jurrien Timber – N/A

It is impossible to give the young Dutchman a score, considering both his appearances came on the opening and then the last match of the season because of ACL injury. Timber will be viewed as a new signing heading into next season.

Cedric Soares – 5

Rarely featured and was mainly given minutes when the Gunners were four or five goals ahead. Cedric says goodbye to north London with his head held high.

Declan Rice – 9

One of the players of the year and signings of the season, Rice has been a revelation for Mikel Arteta’s side and will be one of the players to watch next campaign and at this summer’s European Championships.

Thomas Partey – 6

Another player blighted by serious injury, Partey worked his way back into the starting eleven towards the end of the campaign but his lack of availability has and will be a concern for Arteta.

Jorginho – 7

His leadership qualities were put to good use when the Italian was thrust into the biggest game. Practically a manager on the pitch, the 32-year-old’s performances were rewarded with a new contract.

Fabio Vieira – 5

This season was meant to be where Vieira grew as a player, but instead injuries and lack of game time held him back. A couple of decent showings were followed by injuries in an inconsistent campaign.

Emile Smith-Rowe – 5

Another player who suffered various injuries and struggled with form. Smith-Rowe did not get as much game time as Arsenal fans thought he deserved, but when the team was in such good form, it was difficult to drop anyone from the starting eleven.

Martin Odegaard – 8.5

Another one of Arsenal’s players of the season, Odegaard had a slow start but was soon back to his normal self and led from the front. He was Arteta’s main creator in the team and is one of the Premier League’s best players.

Gabriel Martinelli – 5.5

It was a backwards season for the Brazilian forward, who starred in the 22/23 campaign. Martinelli lost his place in the side to Leandro Trossard after a lack of form and injuries. The 22-year-old needs to get back to form next campaign.

Leandro Trossard – 7.5

The super-sub turned starter, Trossard starred towards the end of the season, scoring vital goals in matches against Chelsea, Wolves and Brighton. Credit to the Belgian for forcing his way into Arteta’s starting 11.

Bukayo Saka – 9

Saka was once again Arsenal’s starboy. The club’s first English player to score 15 goals in a Premier League season since Ian Wright, Saka was one of the team’s brightest lights and is getting close to world class.

Gabriel Jesus – 5.5

Four goals in the Premier League all season is not good enough for a player originally signed by Arsenal to lead from the front, but injuries and poor form have defined the Brazilian’s season yet again.

Kai Havertz – 8.5

A poor start to season, Arteta played a masterstroke by switching the German from midfield to striker, with Havertz ending the campaign with 13 goals and seven assists. His absence up top against Aston Villa at home was a huge turning point in the title race.

Reiss Nelson – 5

Was used as a rotational player for much of the season. Quick, skillful, but rarely made an impact on the team once introduced, so a move away might be Nelson’s best bet for his future.

Eddie Nketiah – 6

A hat-trick against Sheffield United was the highlight of his season, which started off with a flurry of goals early on. Havertz’s switch into the forward line condemned the 24-year-old to a position on the bench for the second half of the season.

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