Arsenal have enjoyed a hugely successful start to the Premier League season, sitting top of the table as the sport enters the international break. One of the players who has been key to this achievement is William Saliba, with the French defender forming a formidable partnership with Gabriel despite Mikel Arteta being told to sell the youngster by Paul Merson before the season began.
Here Express Sport looks at the other stars in addition to Saliba who have helped the Gunners ascend to the top of English football.
It looked as if the French international had reached the crossroads of his Arsenal career when he returned from his third loan spell in as many years in Ligue 1. There were calls from the likes of Merson for Arteta to sell the star, with the pundit claiming “if anyone offers them their money back they would take it right now”. But the Spaniard’s faith has bourne fruit with Saliba becoming one of their stars of the season.
The 21-year-old has been magnificent at the centre of the Gunners’ success, with his relationship with Gabriel proving to be the strong foundations needed for the side’s improvement. He has also chipped in with two goals, with his curling strike against Bournemouth last month the pick of the bunch.
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The Brazilian striker has almost singled-handedly transformed Arsenal’s attacking output since his arrival from Manchester City in the summer. He has already scored four times, contributing a further three assists in his first seven games.
His game is about so much more than raw attacking numbers though – something Gunners have had the joy of experiencing this year. He knits most of the team’s forward-thinking moves together as they become a more cohesive offensive unit. Jesus is relishing the role as main man at the Emirates and has arguably been the north London side’s player of the season so far.
A largely underrated player due to his poor disciplinary record, Xhaka has gained more credit and attention as a result of his performances this season. He has been a controlling presence in midfield and is always available to help out his team mates.
His redemption in the eyes of Arsenal supporters and Arteta has been completed as a result of his antics this season and he has once again taken up a position as one of the team’s key leaders, after being stripped of the captaincy in 2019. He has worn the armband at spells again this year with few supporters having something negative to say about him.
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The Norway international was named club captain this season following the departure of Alexandre Lacazette and has relished the additional responsibility. He has linked up well with Jesus, being a creative influence in the No 10 position and contributing three goals.
He has shown exceptional leadership despite being just 23 years old and has been a reliable figure for his team mates to look to. Odegaard looks ready-made to fulfil the role for the next decade or more given his showings so far this year.
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