Arsenal 2021/22 season review: Top scorers, assists & player of the year

Tom Gott
Saka was the star of the season
Saka was the star of the season / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

An absolute rollercoaster of a season saw Arsenal narrowly miss out on Champions League football, but the fact that the Gunners are so disappointed by that speaks volumes to the progress made.

Mikel Arteta's rebuild went into overdrive in 2021/22 as a youthful Arsenal side decided they no longer wanted to be the Premier League's whipping boys, and for a large part of the campaign, it looked like they would get the top-four spot that most felt was little more than a dream 12 months earlier.

Ultimately, they didn't make it, but Arsenal should be ecstatic with how this past season played out.

Here's the rundown on their 2021/22 season, from their player of the year to the biggest disappointment.

Arsenal 2021/22 player of the season

Bukayo Saka

At times, young Bukayo Saka put his club on his back and willed them far beyond their expectations.

The 20-year-old winger ended the campaign with 11 goals and seven assists in the league - club highs in both categories - as he went from a hot prospect to one of the Premier League's most electric wide players.

His stats weren't empty either, with Saka scoring against Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal throughout the campaign.

Honourable mentions: Martin Odegaard, Gabriel, Aaron Ramsdale

Arsenal 2021/22 goal of the season

Alexandre Lacazette vs Southampton

No goal epitomised more of what Arteta wants from his Arsenal side that this outstanding team goal against Southampton in December 2021.

The Frenchman would score just four goals all season but this one was an absolute thing of beauty. His contribution was minimal, however, as what makes this goal so special is the outstanding build-up play that took Arsenal from one end of the field to the other.

The composure was dripping off the Gunners as they passed their way through Southampton's press, and Lacazette ensured this goal wouldn't be forgotten with a cool finish.

Honourable mentions: Granit Xhaka vs Man Utd, Gabriel Martinelli vs Watford, Emile Smith Rowe vs Tottenham

Arsenal 2021/22 performance of the season

Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham

If Arsenal could only win one game per season, almost every fan would choose three points against north London rivals Tottenham.

Not only did the Gunners provide that in the sixth week of the season, but they absolutely obliterated Nuno Espirito Santo's side and ran riot en route to an emphatic 3-1 victory.

Sure, Spurs were objectively bad at that point in the campaign, but the thing is, so were Arsenal. They'd lost their first three games and had just scraped by Norwich and Burnley, but this was the warning sign to the rest of the league that Arsenal weren't messing about anymore.

Honourable mentions: Chelsea 2-4 Arsenal, Arsenal 3-1 Man Utd

Arsenal 2021/22 signing of the season

Martin Odegaard

Arsenal's transfer business was mocked at the start of the season but nearly every signing ended up coming in clutch.

However, the winner of this prize is Martin Odegaard.

Odegaard's creativity, energy and eye for goal played crucial roles in their impressive season, with the Norway international combining with Saka to perfection at times. The pair look like cornerstones of the future at the Emirates.

Honourable mentions: Takehiro Tomiyasu, Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White

Arsenal 2021/22 most improved player

Granit Xhaka

While you could give this to Saka for his continued rise to stardom, it would be unfair to take credit away from Granit Xhaka for his outstanding comeback campaign.

Nearly sold last summer after angering every fan and picking up his bazillionth red card in a moment of madness in the 5-0 collapse against Man City just three weeks into the season, Xhaka flashed real composure and maturity to calm himself down and pull himself together.

After a knee injury derailed his end to 2021, Xhaka was immense over the remainder of the season and can count himself unlucky not to be in the Player of the Season conversation.

Honourable mentions: Emile Smith Rowe, Aaron Ramsdale, Gabriel

Arsenal 2021/22 disappointment of the season

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

One complaint about Arsenal is their lack of goals from strikers. Lacazette's all-round game was good but his contribution in front of goal was poor, while Eddie Nketiah's late flurry was not enough to flip the narrative.

The Gunners were let down by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the first half of the season, but the sight of him firing in goals for Barcelona after his January transfer only made the pain worse. The Gabon international, who managed four goals in 14 Premier League games year, plundered 11 in 17 La Liga outings.

With disciplinary problems away from the pitch only adding to the frustration, it's safe to say that Arsenal needed more from the man who began the season as their captain.

Dishonourable mentions: Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe

Arsenal 2021/22 most appearances

  • Bukayo Saka - 43 (38 Premier League, 1 FA Cup, 4 Carabao Cup)
  • Martin Odegaard - 40 (36 Premier League, 1 FA Cup, 3 Carabao Cup)
  • Gabriel - 38 (35 Premier League, 3 Carabao Cup)
  • Aaron Ramsdale - 37 (34 Premier League, 3 Carabao Cup)
  • Emile Smith Rowe - 37 (33 Premier League, 4 Carabao Cup)

Arsenal 2021/22 top scorers

  • Bukayo Saka - 12 (11 Premier League, 1 FA Cup)
  • Emile Smith Rowe - 11 (10 Premier League, 1 Carabao Cup)
  • Eddie Nketiah - 10 (5 Premier League, 5 Carabao Cup)
  • Martin Odegaard - 7 (7 Premier League)
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 7 (4 Premier League, 3 Carabao Cup)

Arsenal 2021/22 top assisters

  • Alexandre Lacazette - 8 (7 Premier League, 1 Carabao Cup)
  • Bukayo Saka - 7 (7 Premier League)
  • Gabriel Martinelli - 7 (6 Premier League, 1 Carabao Cup)
  • Nicolas Pepe - 6 (2 Premier League, 4 Carabao Cup)
  • Martin Odegaard - 5 (4 Premier League, 1 Carabao Cup)

Arsenal 2021/22 record in all competitions

  • Premier League - P38, W22, D3, L13, GF 61, GA 48, GD +13, Pts 69, Position 5th
  • FA Cup - P1, W0, D0, L1, GF 0, GA 1, third round
  • Carabao Cup - P6, W4, D1, L2, GF 16, GA 3, semi-final