With 7 games already played and Arsenal having won 5 in succession – it’s safe to say that Gunners’ new Head Coach Unai Emery has found his groove. While it’s still early days – distinct patterns can be observed in the Spaniard’s style of play and preferred personnel to deploy his counter-attacking approach to games.
So we thought now would be a great time to take a stock of Arsenal’s performances not as Gooners & Goonerettes – but through the lens of the wildly addictive & extremely engaging competition that is the official Fantasy Premier League.
Here we’ll evaluate the Arsenal players not just on their contribution to the results we’ve earned but most importantly what their inputs are to the offensive & defensive aspects of the game.
For all statistics, prices & projections – we’ll use numbers & values listed on the FPL site/app.
So let’s set out to identify which of the Arsenal players are viable candidates who can deliver a bagful of points for all the budding FPL out there! In a fashion that will make Emery proud – let’s build from the back & then finish off in attack!! We’ve listed the players’ prices and shall label their FPL desirability in your Team as “High, Medium & Low”.
Petr Cech [Price – £5.0] – The Czech shot-stopper was Emery’s first choice keeper despite the arrival of Bernd Leno in the summer. While asked to adapt to a new system and play from the back – there have been a few issues faced by the former Chelsea man. It took a few games but he grew in confidence – ultimately leading to season’s first clean for the Gunners at home in a 2:0 win over Everton where he was the game’s Man Of The Match. However, a hamstring injury in our last game means he will be out of action for at least a month. FPL Pick Status: Low.
Bernd Leno [Price – £4.8] – The German arrived from Bayer Leverkusen as a ready proponent of the “ball playing goalkeeper” that Emery seemed to favour but found himself behind Cech in the pecking order. After featuring in Europa League & League Cup games – he eventually did a chance to play in the Premier League – albeit under unfortunate circumstances after an injury to Cech. It now means he will start the next few games and get the opportunity to cement his spot in the Starting XI. FPL Pick Status: Medium.
Nacho Monreal [Price – £5.5] – Arguably Arsenal’s most consistent defensive player in terms of FPL returns “La Cabra” already has goal and a couple of Bonus Points to his name in this new season. One of the first names on the team sheet, the Spaniard usually contributes heavily in attack & often strays close to the opposition goal. He remains the top pick once again. FPL Pick Status: High.
Shkodran Mustafi [Price – £5.4] – The German international has his shares of blunders & slips in most games but has ensured he’s nailed his spot in the Starting XI in the league. Occasionally he chips in with a goal or two but is largely avoidable, period. FPL Pick Status: Low.
Hector Bellerin [Price – £5.4] – Arsenal’s other Spanish full back has found a new gear this season. While his output may not be visible in Fantasy metrics – he has been the Gunners’ most improved performers and is very involved in creating attacks – overlapping with Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi & Alexandre Lacazette. He’s matured defensively and only has the one booking to his name yet. Definitely, one to keep an eye on. FPL Pick Status: Medium.
Rob Holding [Price – £4.4] – Despite playing for only a game and half – Holding somehow managed to accumulate more points than senior defender Sokratis! That’s largely because of his Man Of The Match-worthy performance over Watford at home. With the Greek centre-back now available, Holding will revert to the bench but he makes for a great, low-cost option for your Fantasy team. FPL Pick Status: Medium.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos [Price – £5.2] – Formerly of Borussia Dortmund, the Greek international is the established senior CB of this squad. While he’s solid in his tackles, reading of the game and is deceptively quick for his frame – as a Fantasy Manager – he’s best kept far from your team. Here’s to Papa being awesome & winning games for the Arsenal, though! A card magnet as well. FPL Pick Status: Low.
Honorable Mention: Sead Kolasinac [Price – £4.9] – It’s been a rather curious case with the Bosnian. He’s clearly an asset in attack & a tank in defensive duties – but he hasn’t been able to overthrow Nacho Monreal’s spot in the team. Injuries haven’t helped his cause either. Hopefully, he gets many more minutes in the future & translates his potential to FPL fruition! FPL Pick Status: Low.
Mesut Ozil [Price – £8.3] – The Gunners’ German talisman has come off the back of a rather troublesome summer but Unai Emery has managed to evolve his role in North London. Being deployed on the wings instead of his preferred #10 role, his contributions in terms of assist have not been as high as Arsenal fans want but he has chipped in with a couple of goals already. The premium price tag may scare off many an FPL manager but could well be a punt taking as a differential. FPL Pick Status: Medium.
Granit Xhaka [Price – £5.3] – Yet another risky option – the Swiss international should rack up a few goals & assists this season, seemingly. The arrival of Lucas Torreira has freed up his defensive duties largely and he can now focus upon his deep lying, playmaker duties with more ease. He sprays cross field passes regularly and as we’ve seen he does have a mean shot in him, having scored frequently through long range screamers. Could come in rather handy – since he’s a regular on set-piece duties, as well. FPL Pick Status: Medium.
Aaron Ramsey [Price – £7.4] – The Welshman was supposed to be the lynchpin of Unai Emery’s new era at Arsenal. He was accommodated in the central creative role as well while Ozil was shunted out wide – to maximize Ramsey’s runs & his non-stop engine. However, the early promise hasn’t translated to goals & assists yet. A rather long drawn contract saga (which may even result in Ramsey being sold off in January) and it’s heartbreaking to see one of the squads’ best players being largely wasted. His wife & him are expecting new additions to their family – so a couple of celebratory goals seem due, perhaps! FPL Pick Status: Medium.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan [Price – £6.9] – Mkhitaryan started in the first few League games of the season before an injury in the Europa League game forced him to the sidelines. He’s blended with the squad post his arrival in January from Manchester fantastically & his positional fluidity has given many a selection head to Emery. With Ramsey’s gradually reduced involvement – the Armenian stands to benefit the most. He becomes a very lucrative option – provided he gets sufficient game time. FPL Pick Status: High.
Alex Iwobi [Price – £5.5] – Considered by many to be the most improved player in Emery’s short stint. Despite having very limited game time – the Naija Boy already has a goal a couple of assists. He’s been a game changer in multiple games & there have been many calls for him to start instead of Aaron Ramsey. A sure pick if that’s indeed the case. FPL Pick Status: High.
Honourable Mentions: Lucase Torreira [Price – £4.9] & Mateo Guendouzi [Price – £4.5] – Both the new summer signings are dynamic players who are heavily involved in the set-up for most attacks – however their very role means they’ll rarely finish off such moves. They’re great if you want a budget midfielder in your squad; but other options shall suit your FPL team better.
Alexandre Lacazette [Price – £9.6] – Perhaps the one true FPL must have from the Arsenal ranks – the Frenchman has been heavily involved in goals & assists this season. He regularly gets rested during Europa League & League Cup games while his partner Aubameyang starts – so staying fresh & hungry for League games clearly seems to the strategy. Won’t be a surprise if the irresistible number 9 gets double digits in goals & assists before the end of the season! FPL Pick Status: High.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang [Price – £10.7] – The most expensive FPL asset in the Arsenal squad this season, the Gabonese international shoulders high hopes, expectations & demands as the senior striker. Everyone expected him to kick off the new season after a summer of rest with a torrent of goals but that hasn’t quite happened yet. Nevertheless, with a couple of goals already under his belt it’s a matter of “when” & not “if” for him to blitz the opposition and justify the immense faith of the fans & his teammates. A great player to have in your team once he hits top form – hopefully very, very soon! FPL Pick Status: Medium.
Danny Welbeck [Price – £6.5] – The Englishman too is about the reach the end of his contract this summer but unlike Ramsey – there hasn’t been any indication by the Club or the Player about any future extension. What is visible is how hard the lad contributes to the shape & the system when he does play in the League games. He’s been among the goals due to his frequent starts in the League Cup & Europa League game and is a very vital member in the dying stages of the game as we close down our opponents while protecting a lead. A great, budget forward option. FPL Pick Status: Medium.