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Arsenal's 2022-23 player power rankings: Xhaka, Saliba and Jesus flying, but Smith Rowe's injury woes continue

12:00 GMT 17/11/2022
Arsenal player rankings 2022-23
Arsenal are riding high at the top of the Premier League thanks to some fine summer signings but not everyone is excelling...

It's been a record-breaking start to the season for Arsenal. Mikel Arteta's side have gone into the break for the World Cup sitting five points clear at the top of the Premier League thanks to the best start to the season in the club's history.

Fourteen games, 12 wins, one draw and just one defeat. Even Manchester City haven't been able to live with Arteta's vibrant young pacesetters.

But who have been the stand out players for the Gunners so far this season, and is there anyone who could still do a little bit more?

GOAL takes a look below, rating each and every member of Mikel Arteta's table-topping squad...

  • 20220929 Emile Smith Rowe

    #23 Emile Smith Rowe - 4/10

    What a horrible few months it’s been for Smith Rowe.

    He would have started the season full of hope and most probably targeting a spot in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad. But an ongoing groin issue limited him to just four brief appearances before he was forced to undergo an operation at the end of August.

    The 22-year-old has not played since, but hopes to be back in action around the turn of the year.

    And if he can get back to his best, then he should have a major part to play over the second half of the campaign.

  • Cedric Soares Arsenal

    #22 Cedric Soares - 5/10

    It’s tough to really judge Cedric’s season so far, because his opportunities have been so limited.

    He has made just one start, in the Carabao Cup defeat by Brighton, and had just two substitute appearances in the Premier League.

    Unfortunately for Cedric, it’s clear he is now way down the pecking order when it comes to Arteta’s options at full-back.

    But the Portuguese defender is always very professional and will ensure he is always ready to help when called upon.

  • Marquinhos Arsenal Brighton 2022-23

    #21 Marquinhos - 5/10

    After a bright start to life at Arsenal, Marquinhos has struggled to make an impact of late.

    The 19-year-old has looked a little bit out of his depth when he has been called upon and a loan in January seems like a good option. He will then be able to go out and get the regular game time he needs at his age to ensure he keeps progressing.

    The last few months will have done him a lot of good in terms of acclimatising to Arsenal and living in England.

    It just feels, however, like the logical next step now is a loan move and some regular first-team football.

  • Mohamed Elneny Arsenal

    #20 Mohamed Elneny - 5/10

    It’s been an injury-plagued season so far for Elneny, which has seen him make just five appearances.

    But four of those appearances came in the nine-day period leading up to the World Cup break, so the Egyptian should have a big part to play once club football returns at Christmas.

    Elneny may not be one of Arsenal’s star names, but he is a very important member of the squad and Arteta will be delighted to have him back available.

    The 30-year-old will no doubt be looking to make up for lost time so far this campaign.

  • Sambi Lokonga Arsenal 2022-23

    #19 Sambi Lokonga - 5/10

    The young Belgian midfielder can’t say he hasn’t been given opportunities this season. He’s made 13 appearances in all competitions and started nine of them - including every game in the Europa League group stage.

    But he hasn’t really taken his opportunity to impress.

    Lokonga has been largely neat and tidy, but that’s about it. There’s been nothing standout, whether that be when he’s been playing in the defensive midfield role or - as has been the case in recent games - as one of the more advanced No.8s.

    With each game that goes by, the more questions are being asked about what exactly Lokonga offers.

    Those questions are only going to get more persistent if he doesn't start producing a little bit more when football resumes again after the World Cup.

  • Fabio Vieira Arsenal 2022-23

    #18 Fabio Vieira - 6/10

    Just like Marquinhos, Vieira had an impressive start to his debut season in England.

    He produced some eye-catching performances in his first few appearances, and capped his full Premier League debut with a superb goal in the win at Brentford.

    But his performances have dipped as the season has gone on, leading to questions being asked about the Portuguese playmaker’s ability to adapt to life at Arsenal.

    Arteta has backed him, however, and Vieira rewarded his manager for his show of faith with a wonderful bit of play to set up Martin Odegaard’s crucial opening goal in the win at Wolves just before the World Cup break.

    Vieira is clearly talented and Arteta will hope that the warm-weather training camp in Dubai during the World Cup will be just what he needs to kick on ahead of the second half of the season.

  • Rob Holding Arsenal

    #17 Rob Holding - 6/10

    Holding knows his place in this Arsenal squad. He is very much at the back of the pecking order when it comes to the centre-backs, but he still has a key role to play in Arteta's rotation.

    Holding has started every single cup game so far, allowing his manager to give some time off to one of his regular starters in the Premier League.

    And the central defender has not let his manager down.

    He may not be at the same level of Gabriel Magalhaes or William Saliba, but Arteta knows he can count on him to come in and do a job. And that’s exactly what he has done so far this season.

  • Matt Turner Arsenal 2022-23

    #16 Matt Turner - 6/10

    After a couple of nervy performances early in the season, the summer signing has impressed whenever he’s been called upon to deputise for Aaron Ramsdale.

    Turner made some fine stops during his Europa League performances and he will have been disappointed to pick up the injury which saw him miss the final couple of group games.

    He has shown enough, however, to dispel some of the negative opinions that were forming around him earlier in the year.

  • Reiss Nelson Arsenal 2022-23

    #15 Reiss Nelson - 6/10

    A player who has certainly grasped what was a fairly unexpected opportunity to impress.

    When Bukayo Saka went off injured against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, Arteta turned to Nelson to replace him. And he came on and scored twice while also setting up another goal in a 5-0 success.

    Those were Nelson’s first Premier League goals in two years, and he followed them up with another decent showing against Brighton in the Carabao Cup.

    Many had already written the winger off when it came to his chances of forcing his way back into the reckoning at Arsenal, but he has shown he might still have what it takes to make an impact in north London.

  • Eddie Nketiah

    #14 Eddie Nketiah - 6/10

    Nketiah’s goal against Brighton in the Carabao Cup was his first in eight appearances. It was an excellent finish and one the young striker needed after a frustrating few weeks.

    He hadn’t been helped by being asked to play out wide in some games, but his performances were still not at his best.

    So he will hope that goal, which was his third of the season, will give him the boost he needs ahead of the second half of the campaign.

  • Kieran Tierney Arsenal 2022-23

    #13 Kieran Tierney - 7/10

    It’s been a difficult season for Tierney, who first saw Oleksandr Zinchenko come in and take his place and then saw Takehiro Tomiyasu preferred to him at left-back when the Ukrainian was injured.

    But Tierney has stayed as professional as always and has done a fine job whenever he has been called upon, even scoring in the Europa League win against FC Zurich.

    In fact, he has made 19 appearances in all competitions this season; that’s only one less than both Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus.

  • Takehiro-Tomiyasu

    #12 Takehiro Tomiyasu - 7/10

    The Japan international has produced some excellent performances this season, especially at left-back.

    There was a lot of surprise when Arteta named Tomiyasu - a natural right-back - on the left hand side of the defence against Liverpool. But it was a tactical move that worked perfectly, with the 24-year-old marking Mohamed Salah out of the game.

    Tomiyasu may have lost his spot as first choice right-back to Ben White this season, but he is still an integral part of the squad - making 18 appearances this season.

    He is consistent, dependable and is a vital asset to Arteta.

  • Oleksandr Zinchenko Arsenal 2022-23

    #11 Oleksandr Zinchenko - 7/10

    Zinchenko has proven to be a fine addition from Manchester City, though injury has unfortunately held him back from making as big an impact as he could have.

    When he has been fit, you can see exactly what he brings to the side and why Arteta prefers to have him operating in the inverted left-back role over Kieran Tierney.

    He recovered from his calf injury just before the World Cup break and was immediately brought back into the starting XI by Arteta.

    You feel that Zinchenko - a four-time Premier League winner - is going to have a big part to play when the season really starts to heat up after the turn of the year.

  • Aaron Ramsdale celebrate 2022-23

    #10 Aaron Ramsdale - 7/10

    Arsenal’s No.1 has had an excellent couple of months after a slightly under-par start to the season.

    He has looked much more like his old self in recent times and has made some important stops at key times in matches.

    There has still been the odd error, such as away at PSV, but on the whole Ramsdale has been impressive.

  • Bukayo Saka Arsenal 2022-23

    #9 Bukayo Saka - 7/10

    Saka’s numbers are excellent this season, he already has four goals and six assists in 14 Premier League appearances.

    But despite that, you still feel like we haven’t quite seen the best of Arsenal’s two-time Player of the Season.

    That’s not to say that he hasn’t been impressive this season, because he has, and you have to factor in the treatment that is being dished out to him by defenders each game nowadays.

    But even so, Saka has not yet hit his top level this season. And Arteta will hope that will come once the Premier League resumes after Christmas.

  • Gabriel Arsenal 2022-23

    #8 Gabriel Magalhaes - 8/10

    There have been a few errors, but Gabriel has been largely excellent for Arsenal this season.

    The partnership he has built with William Saliba at the back has been a big part in the Gunners’ early season success.

    Gabriel arguably produced his best two performances of the season just before the World Cup break in the wins at Chelsea and Wolves.

    And he even popped up with the crucial winning goal at Stamford Bridge to cap his excellent display.

  • Martin Odegaard Arsenal 2022-23

    #7 Martin Odegaard - 8/10

    Arsenal’s top scorer so far this season with six goals, Odegaard has not always been exceptional, but he has still performed very well and he is starting to make the impact we all knew he could in the final third.

    The one big criticism of the Norway international had been that he didn’t score the amount of goals he should have, given the positions he often finds himself in.

    But Arsenal’s captain has now started to do just that and Arteta’s side are reaping the benefits.

  • Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal 2022-23

    #6 Gabriel Martinelli - 8/10

    The Brazilian winger has been electric so far this season. He has five Premier League goals since the start of the campaign, and two assists.

    Martinelli’s work ethic and energy levels have made him undroppable and he thoroughly deserved his call-up to the Brazil squad for the World Cup.

    He is getting better and better under Arteta and it’s clear why Arsenal are trying so hard to get him to sign a new contract.

  • Ben White; Arsenal; 2022-23

    #5 Ben White - 8/10

    Just a wonderfully gifted footballer. The fact he has adjusted so easily to playing at right-back this season demonstrates just how good a player White is.

    With the exception of possibly Reece James, there hasn’t been a better English defender this season than the former Brighton man.

    He looks like a natural right-back and is deservedly one of the first names on the Arsenal team sheet. 

  • Gabriel Jesus Arsenal 2022-23

    #4 Gabriel Jesus - 8/10

    Yes, he should have had more goals this season. Yes, he hasn’t scored in 11 appearances in all competitions.

    But despite all that, Gabriel Jesus continues to be an absolute revelation for Arsenal since his move from Manchester City.

    He hasn’t been able to continue his early-season scoring form, but his performance levels haven't dipped at all.

    The Brazilian is playing as well as he ever has and is still having a huge impact on every single game he plays in.

    A game-changing signing for Arsenal.

  • MF_Thomas Partey

    #3 Thomas Partey - 8/10

    Arsenal’s Ghanaian midfielder has arguably produced his most consistent run of form since joining the club during the past two months. He has been superb in the middle of the park, bossing games and even scoring goals.

    He has scored twice from outside the box since the start of October, against Spurs and Nottingham Forest, and produced a monstrous performance at Stamford Bridge during the 1-0 win against Chelsea.

    Partey’s ability has never been in doubt, it’s just been his ongoing injury issues that have held him back at Arsenal. 

    But now that he is injury free, it’s clear to see why Arsenal were willing to pay so much to bring him to the club from Atletico Madrid.

  • William Saliba Arsenal 2022-23

    #2 William Saliba - 9/10

    A generational talent who has taken to the Premier League with ease, Saliba has been outstanding this season and there is a good argument to suggest that he has been the league’s standout centre-back.

    He has passed every test that has been thrown at him so far and has formed a formidable partnership with Gabriel in the heart of Arsenal’s defence.

    Saliba has also scored twice, proving that he can be just as handy for the Gunners in the opposition box as well.

  • Xhaka Arsenal 2022-23

    #1 Granit Xhaka - 9/10

    The redemption story of the season.

    Many wondered whether Xhaka would be eased out of the picture at Arsenal this season, but instead he has made himself absolutely undroppable.

    His consistency levels have been impeccable and he is clearly revelling in the freedom of the more advanced midfield role that he is now operating in.

    Three goals and three assists in 14 league appearances is an excellent return, while he also scored the crucial winner against PSV in the Europa League.

    Xhaka has been outstanding and his story epitomises everything about this new Arsenal team.