Arsenal ended the previous season with just two players in double digits for Premier League goals. Yet, with 11 games of the current campaign still to go, the Gunners boast as many as three individuals with ten or more top-flight goals.
Gabriel Martinelli (12 league goals), Bukayo Saka (ten) and Martin Odegaard (ten) have offered Arsenal three reliable routes to goal during their title charge this year.
To put into context how impressive that feat is at such an early stage of the season, only one other club in Europe’s top ten leagues can boast as many prolific goal-getters (per Opta).
Paris Saint-Germain’s feared and feted attacking triumvirate of Kylian Mbappe (19 league goals), Lionel Messi (13) and Neymar (13) are the only other trio in elite European competition that can match Arsenal’s goal spread.
Mbappe and Messi finished first and second in FIFA’s Best Awards for 2022 with Neymar rounding out the trio in ninth. No Arsenal player was present on the 14-man shortlist announced in January.
For Arsenal’s considerably younger trio, this is uncharted territory. Odegaard’s best league return before the current campaign was eight goals while on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem while Martinelli had never notched more than six in a single league campaign.
Saka, admittedly, finished as Arsenal’s top scorer with 11 in the top flight last year but by hitting double digits again this term, the 21-year-old has become the youngest Arsenal player to ever score ten or more Premier League goals in consecutive seasons.
Since breaking into Monaco’s first-team squad as a precocious 17-year-old, Mbappe has scored at least 13 league goals in each of the last seven years. Neymar has hit double digits in seven of the previous eight top-flight campaigns while Messi had a run of 15 consecutive goal-laden seasons curtailed by just six strikes in his debut Ligue 1 season. Normal service has resumed this term.
Neymar will not be able to add to his tally this season after suffering a campaign-ending ankle injury last month. Arsenal, by contrast, may be able to include a fourth name in their roster of top scorers after welcoming a Brazilian back from injury.
Gabriel Jesus came off the bench against Fulham to make his first Premier League appearance since November after recovering from a serious knee problem he suffered while playing for Brazil at the winter World Cup. The 25-year-old has been locked on five league goals since scoring in the October north London derby but has more than a quarter of the campaign left to bolster his tally.
Unlike PSG, Arsenal are not their division’s top scorers despite a healthy spread of goals. Manchester City’s Erling Haaland-centric attack has propelled the reigning champions to 67 goals in 27 league games (28 of which belong to the Norwegian goal-gobbler), three more than the Gunners. However, Phil Foden is the team’s next-highest scorer with just nine in the league.
Odegaard’s tenth goal of the season was Arsenal’s third in a breezy victory against Fulham on Sunday which restored the Gunners’ five-point lead above City at the Premier League summit. If Odegaard, Martinelli and Saka continue to find the net so regularly, there is every chance there will also be above City come the end of the campaign.