Arsenal lead Manchester City by five points in the Premier League title race and have a game in hand, which could put them eight points clear at the top. The Gunners have performed admirably this season, winning sixteen, drawing two, and losing only one in 19 games so far, amassing 50 points in the process.
Mikel Arteta is now demonstrating that he is the right coach to end Arsenal’s 19-year drought for the league crown. He has heavily rotated his squad for the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, where they have already been eliminated, demonstrating his priorities.
The Gunners’ title pedigree was evident as they overcame a goal deficit to defeat a resurgent Manchester United 3-2. They will have a chance to take home the prized trophy at the end of the season if they maintain their strong performance.
Here’s a look at the players who could be essential to Arsenal‘s title challenge in the second half of the season:
5 Arsenal players who will be crucial for their title challenge
#5 Eddie Nketiah
Many fans anticipated that Gabriel Jesus’ injury at the FIFA World Cup while representing Brazil would be catastrophic for the Arsenal attack. Jesus has made a bright start since his move to the Emirates, scoring five goals and providing five assists.
In the Brazilian striker’s absence, Eddie Nketiah has stepped up, scoring 7 goals since the post-World Cup break. The Gunners earned all three points against Manchester United thanks to his brace, maintaining their lead at the top.
The young English striker has established himself as a trustworthy backup who will be essential for Mikel Arteta’s team in their pursuit of Premier League glory, even though Jesus is close to making his injury comeback.
#4 William Saliba
In 2019, 18-year-old William Saliba joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne for an estimated £27 million. The French defender was loaned out to Marseille, Nice, and Saint-Étienne to continue his development.
Saliba’s loan spells helped him mature into a complete defender. He returned to the Emirates this season and has been one of the standout central defenders in the league. To make room for him in the starting line-up, Mikel Arteta had to switch Ben White to right-back.
With nine clean sheets and only 16 goals conceded, the Gunners have the second-best defensive record in the league, behind only Newcastle United.
The north London club will need their defense to be at its absolute best if they are to win the title this season. As the saying goes, a good attack wins you games and a solid defense wins you trophies.
#3 Granit Xhaka
Granit Xhaka has been the foundation of the Gunners’ great results this season, even though Thomas Partey has received a lot of praise for his outstanding play.
The 30-year-old Swiss midfielder has become the leader of the side with commanding displays, scoring three goals and setting up another five. Eddie Nketiah scored the equalizer against Manchester United, thanks in large part to Xhaka’s exquisite assist.
He has adapted his playing style to Mikel Arteta’s football philosophies, and the Gunners are benefiting from his restoration. Given that Arsenal have the youngest team in the Premier League this season, Xhaka’s experience will be essential for their promising young players.
#2 Bukayo Saka
Since graduating from the Arsenal academy, Bukayo Saka has grown into one of the best attackers in the Premier League. His importance for the Gunners has increased with each season.
He has become one of the standout performers in the league this campaign, with seven goals and seven assists so far. Saka’s amazing goal against Manchester United demonstrates his potential and leadership for this young team.
His form will be pivotal for the Gunners in the title race.
#1 Martin Odegaard
By putting up strong performances week after week, Martin Odegaard has relished the burden of serving as Arsenal’s captain this season, which has been one of the key reasons why they are currently top of the Premier League table.
Odegaard, who is only 24 years old, has played like a seasoned veteran so far this campaign. Real Madrid might be kicking themselves for allowing the young Norwegian to depart the Santiago Bernabéu, now that he’s finally demonstrating his enormous talent.
Odegaard has been the engine behind the Gunners’ successful season, contributing eight goals and five assists.
Arsenal will need him at his best in the second half of the season to win the title. He has undoubtedly been one of the finest players in the Premier League this season.