Arsenal suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Everton on Sunday afternoon but remain in with a chance of finishing the season strongly.
Unai Emery’s maiden campaign in English football has not been plain sailing, but he has overseen the transition from the Arsene Wenger era into a new beginning at the Emirates Stadium well.
Arsenal are in the quarter-finals of the Europa League and have an excellent opportunity to secure silverware. However, they must first overcome a two-legged fixture against Serie A giants Napoli in the final eight.
The Gunners sit in fourth place on the Premier League table, level with Chelsea in fifth and only one point behind Tottenham Hotspur in third.
They have a strong chance of qualifying for the Champions League via the top four, but Emery’s expertise in the Europa League will no doubt tempt Arsenal into focusing on their continental exploits.
The manager has worked exceptionally with limited funds in both transfer windows. Despite the club signing a plethora of new players, there have been no big-money signings, and the Spaniard has extracted plenty from his fresh recruits.
So, take a look at how we have graded Arsenal’s 2018/19 signings during their first seasons at the Emirates!
Bernd Leno: A-
Leno has been a quite exceptional signing for Arsenal. He has made very few mistakes following his move from Bayer Leverkusen.
His handling remains a concern, but he is a superb shot-stopper and appears an excellent long-term replacement for Petr Cech.
The German international’s consistency has flown under the radar this season.
Matteo Guendouzi: A
Guendouzi is still a raw player, but he has already established himself as a key player for Emery’s side despite his tender age.
It was an excellent find for the Gunners. The youngster arrived from Ligue 2 side Lorient and has since been a staple in the team’s midfield, reading the game intelligently, displaying tenacity and progressing the ball from deep.
Lucas Torreira: B+
Torreira has shown signs of real quality when he has played for Arsenal this season.
The Uruguayan appears somewhat rash at times and has been demonstrated that he is still a raw prospect, but encouragement can certainly be taken from his first season at Arsenal.
He is still young and has the potential to be a hugely important player for years to come at the Emirates.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos: A
Sokratis hardly impressed at Borussia Dortmund but has been a revelation for Arsenal.
He has added much-needed determination and experience to the back-line, and this signing has undoubtedly been a successful one.
The Greek centre-back is a vital cog in Emery’s plans and all parties involved in this deal deserve praise, as a risk has clearly paid off.
Stephan Lichtsteiner - C-
Lichtsteiner was signed on a free transfer from Juventus to provide Hector Bellerin with a reliable deputy.
However, the Swiss defender has shown anything but reliability and has failed to adapt to the demands of the Premier League.
He’s not been impressive by any stretch and has to go down as Arsenal’s worst signing of the summer transfer window.
Denis Suarez - C
Suarez has hardly been utilised following his January loan move from Barcelona.
Emery has preferred other options in the middle of the park, with the Spanish playmaker struggling to stamp his authority on proceedings in the Premier League.
Suarez has by no means looked poor when handed the chance to play, but he’s displayed nowhere near enough quality to be regarded as a successful signing as of yet.