With the Premier League season over, it’s time to assess each of the 20 teams one-by-one. So here is Arsenal’s FPL review of 2021/22.
Champions League football was within Arsenal’s grasp with three games to go. It would have been their first time there since the end of a 19-season streak in 2016/17. Yet successive defeats to Spurs and Newcastle were fatal and the Gunners has to settle for fifth place.
At least they are back in Europe again though, having missed out altogether this season.
Over the season, Arsenal are usually fourth for underlying attacking stats like shots and expected goals (xG). Their 13 clean sheets rank as the fifth-most, although their expected goals conceded (xGC) total of 51.34 is bettered by Crystal Palace and Brighton.
Aaron Ramsdale is their biggest price riser, having started as a £4.5m goalkeeper but ending at £5.1m. After making his Gameweek 4 debut, three clean sheets from four matches saw his popularity quickly escalate. The price of Nicolas Pepe fell by £0.6m.
Best FPL asset
It’s hard to look past Bukayo Saka here. Top for points (179), goals (11) and assists (nine), he was far ahead of his team mates for goal attempts (97) and, throughout the league, was only beaten by Mo Salah for touches in the opposition penalty area (216).
During the second half of the season, he was an established member of the FPL template squad, offering a high value that was only topped by a few.
An honourable mention goes to Emile Smith Rowe and his freakish run of winter goals that saw seven arrive during a run of nine appearances. Between Gameweeks 17 and 19, his three substitute appearances brought three goals in just 44 minutes.
Biggest FPL disappointment
Whilst scoring at least 13 goals in three of his previous four seasons, what always held Alexandre Lacazette back in FPL was his rotation with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. His goals-to-minutes ratio was actually superb but the French international was still deemed a risk.
So when Aubameyang left in January, the path was clear for Lacazette. However, despite starting 16 consecutive matches from Gameweek 15, he only netted three times. An injury eventually saw Eddie Nketiah take his place but perhaps it was coming anyway. So he ended with just four goals.
Looking ahead to next season
Surely Mikel Arteta is aiming to grab fourth place. But he’ll need a big-name forward to replace whichever of Lacazette and Nketiah decide not to renew their expiring contracts. His squad is young and exciting but two or three players of proven quality are needed.
In terms of FPL, there shouldn’t be any positional changes. Although expect price rises for Saka, Ramsdale, Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli. At a guess, Saka should jump from £6.5m to around £8.0m.