Three Arsenal players have been named in the Premier League Team Of The Season after the outstanding 22/23 campaign Mikel Arteta’s side have had, despite missing out on the title.
The Premier League 2022/23 campaign came to an end last Sunday as Manchester City were crowned champions for the third year in a row. Despite leading for majority of the season, Arsenal lost out on the title towards the end of the season as they failed to cope with injuries to key players in their squad.
Following the end of the season, many football news outlets released their team of the season squads. Arsenal had two players featuring in BBC’s TOTS squad and one player in WhoScored TOTS squad.
BBC’s Garth Crooks named William Saliba and Martin Odegaard in his TOTS.
Speaking on Saliba, Crooks said: “The loss through injury of William Saliba in the latter part of the season almost certainly cost Arsenal the title. The games against Southampton at home and West Ham away were ones the Gunners would have won under normal circumstances, but these were fixtures fuelled with pressure and expectation and Arsenal’s defence buckled under the weight of them.”
“When Saliba came into the Arsenal side in the early part of their campaign he looked immense, and the bigger the game the more composed he appeared. The impact of the Frenchman’s injury to Arsenal’s title chances was there for all to see and they simply had no one in their ranks good enough to replace him.”
Speaking on why he included Martin Odegaard in his TOTS, Crooks said: “For so much of this season, Arsenal looked like they were going to make it. The reason they appeared so convincing was due to their captain Martin Odegaard. The Norwegian playmaker brought [such] a calm sophistication to the Gunners’ performances that the Premier League title suddenly seemed doable.”
“The Arsenal captain clearly talked some sense into Granit Xhaka, who was no longer wanting to fight everyone and suddenly was looking like a player who was engaged, like the rest of his team-mates, in winning the title. Sadly for Arsenal they ran out of steam but not without giving Spurs and Chelsea fans weeks of destroyed weekends and sleepless nights. That must give them a little satisfaction.”
WhoScored also released their TOTS. This one however, only featured Bukayo Saka. WhoScored’ criteria for the TOTS was the calculation of every player’s average rating throughout each game of the Premier League season.
Saka was given a 7.4 rating, which was short only 0.2 off the highest rated player, Kevin De Bruyne. Saka has been crucial for Arsenal and was a difference maker in many games this season. The 21-year-old put in big performances against Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham most notably.
His output from the right-wing position was brilliant. This led to him having his best ever season in the Premier League so far recording 14 goals and 11 assists.
Martin Odegaard has also been vital to Arsenal throughout their title challenge this season. He often orchestrated Arsenal’s attacks. Odegaard was named Arsenal’s captain before the season began and the responsibility seemed to take his game to another level.
William Saliba also proved to be a crucial player for Arsenal. Following his injury when playing against Sporting in the Europa League, Saliba saw his season come to an end. This injury also saw Arsenal lose an important player and they could not cope with the injury which lead to their title challenge slowly fade away.