The Gunners finished fifth in the Premier League but still have a chance of Europa League glory – Goal picks out their three standout performers
Despite missing out on the Premier League’s top four by a single point, Arsenal still have the opportunity to secure Champions League football next season.
They head to Baku on May 29 to take on Chelsea in the Europa League final knowing that victory will earn them a return to Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in three seasons.
A win in Azerbaijan would cap off what has been an encouraging first season in charge for Unai Emery, who was hired with the sole intention of getting the north London club back into the Champions League.
There is, however, a sense of regret around the Emirates that Arsenal missed out on securing automatic qualification through the league, having given themselves an excellent chance to do just that – only to fail to win five of their final six league games.
Despite seeing that opportunity slip through their hands, though, there have been plenty of encouraging developments that can be built on during the summer as Emery attempts to close the gap to the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
For starters, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Laczette have built a fearsome strike partnership, while new signings such as Sokratis, Bernd Leno and Lucas Torreira have all made a big impact.
Here, Goal picks Arsenal’s top three performers for the 2018-19 season. But what do you think? Feel free to join the debate in the comment box at the bottom of the page!
We had to wait some time before we got a good look at Arsenal’s £22 million ($28.5m) summer addition from Bayer Leverkusen.
Emery preferred to start the season with Petr Cech in goal, with Leno limited to appearances in the League Cup and the Europa League.
But having got his chance following an injury to Cech, Leno hasn’t looked back and has enjoyed an impressive debut season in north London.
On paper, some observers will point to the fact Arsenal have conceded 51 goals in the league and say that Leno has underperformed – but that is simply not the case. Had it not been for the German, the goals against column would have looked far worse.
Having settled in, he was excellent during the second half of the season – apart from a rare off night against Wolves at Molineux.
Click Here: COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES 2019
His highlight was the double save at Wembley in the north London derby. That was the first time you really heard the Arsenal fans sing his name and they haven’t stopped singing it since.
His first full season in England and Aubameyang has claimed a share of the Golden Boot.
The Gabon international’s arrival from from Borussia Dortmund last January generated plenty of hype but he has certainly lived up to his club record, £56m ($64m) price tag.
He scored 22 goals in the Premier League and has 31 in all competitions, with the Europa League final still to come.
When Arsenal really needed him in the Europa League semi-final, he delivered, scoring a hat-trick away in Valencia to send his side through to Baku.
There have been some costly errors along the way, of course, with the last-minute penalty miss at Wembley in the north London derby a massive moment in the season.
But 31 goals is a hugely impressive haul in your first full season in England. Arsenal are lucky to have such a prolific striker.
He may be lagging 12 goals behind his strike partner this season, but Lacazette has been Arsenal’s outstanding player in 2018-19.
The France forward has led the line superbly, scoring consistently but also offering so much more as the focal point of the Arsenal attack
He has eight assists in the Premier League this season – no Arsenal player has more – and he also has two in the Europa League.
And in terms of goals, he has continuously scored in big games, finding the target against the likes of Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea domestically and away at Napoli in the Europa League quarter-final as well as in both legs of the semi-final with Valencia.
There are reports that Barcelona have Lacazette on their list of potential targets this summer and given his performances this season, that would not be a surprise.