It has been an up and down season for Arsenal, as they started on a good note, but lost the plot at the start of the calender year. However they limped past Tottenham on the final day to second place making it a rather satisfactory end to the season.
This is a follow-up article to the one we posted earlier today. Here you can find the previous one Arsenal season review: Top 12 players – 9 to 12
8. Alex Iwobi (LW/RW)
Number of games played: 21 (1123 minutes)
In the pre-season, it was apparent Wenger had a formidable young star on his hands in the form of a 20-year old winger Alex Iwobi. But the quality of this Nigerian forward has only become apparent in the back end of the campaign. Since impressing at the Camp Nou in March he has been in the starting XI until the final game of the season against Aston Villa where he was benched and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t continue into next season.
He has ended the season with 2 goals and 3 assists and has shown to us that he is capable of doing the unthinkable if given the chance. Jack Wilshere was the last player to move into the Arsenal first team from the Arsenal Academy. Hence after a long time the Arsenal Academy has produced yet another gem. Alex Iwobi already has four Nigerian national team games under his belt and he only promises to become a better player in the years to come.
7. Danny Welbeck (CF)
Number of games played: 15 (758 minutes)
Arsenal’s record English signing from Manchester United Danny Welbeck could not have wished to make a better return after 11 months out than his headed winner against Leicester and since then he has been a consistent and reliable performer for Arsenal, grabbing another crucial goal in a win over Norwich. He had 5 goals and 2 assists in 15 games playing just 50.5 minutes per game before the disaster had struck again for him when he was injured playing against Manchester City in the penultimate game week of the season and was substituted after just 24 minutes.
The 25-year old striker was ruled out for nine months after yet another significant knee injury and was eventually ruled out of the Euro 2016 event. He must be gutted right now. His pace and dribbling prowess made him a tricky customer to deal with for the defenders. His absence will be a great loss for both Arsenal FC and the England national football team. Due to his latest injury, Wenger has been pushed into the transfer market in search of a new quality striker.
6. Joel Campbell (RW)
Number of games played: 30 (1613 minutes)
He may not get many chances under Wenger, who seemingly is not sold on the Costa Rican, but he will never let Arsenal down. Joel Campbell is Arsenal’s version of Batman, a silent guardian. After an unbelievable World cup campaign with Costa Rica two years back where he leads them to the quarter-finals, he was touted to become a big game player at Arsenal. But club manager Arsene Wenger kept ignoring him for other wing options possibly because Wenger thought his best position was the left wing and Chilean international Alexis Sanchez had made that position his very own since arriving at the club from Barcelona last season. This season at times when Sanchez, Theo Walcott, and other wingers were injured, Joel Campbell was introduced into the playing XI.
He impressed game after game bagging 4 goals and 6 assists during a brief period where he enjoyed regular first team football. In crucial games against Swansea, Olympiakos, Liverpool and Tottenham this season he had always risen to the occasion. But once the regular wingers returned Wenger once again turned to them and didn’t provide Joel the chances he deserved. Joel ended the season playing 31 games and being part of only 53.7 minutes per game. He definitely deserves more than this at our club considering his stunning performances in the 2015/16 season.
5. Mohamed Elneny (CDM)
Number of games played: 16 (1221 minutes)
Being a surprise January acquisition amid all the talk of Lars Bender and Victor Wanyama Arsenal’s Egyptian recruit Mohamed Elneny would have wanted to prove his efficiency in the Premier League. And he indeed proved to be a bargain buy at just £7m pounds. Composed on the ball, he has twice won Arsenal’s player of the month award in consecutive months (March and April) since arriving at the club on January 14 and has become an instant fan favorite.
He has the best average pass percentage among all Arsenal players this season (93%) and is carving out a starting spot for himself. Generally a long shot and a long ball specialist he has supplied 3.6 long balls per game since arriving at Arsenal. In a few years who knows, he might even go on to become Arsenal’s very own Luka Modric.
Stay Tuned for the final list of 1-4.