Saka, Martinelli and Ødegaard - The magic trio helping Arsenal to first league title in 20 years
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Arsenal's 3-2 victory over Bournemouth in the Premier League wasn't the fact that the club won all three points or that the winner came in the dying moments of the game, but rather that Mikel Arteta's side had managed to win the game without goals or assists from their three key players. Such has been the incredible form and influence of Arsenal's magic trio.
While Emile Smith Rowe, Thomas Partey and the talented Reiss Nelson are all important first team players, Arsenal's impressive run in the Premier League and the hopes of winning a first league title in 20 years have undoubtedly been fuelled by three players in particular: Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Ødegaard and Bukayo Saka. And there's no doubt that the North London club would be nowhere near the top of the table without their impressive goals and assists in the league this season.
How important have Saka, Martinelli and Ødegaard been this season?
Like all big clubs, Arsenal have a number of outstanding players but the manner in which their league campaign has unfolded certainly underlines just how much they rely on the aforementioned trio to score and create goals. Following the arrival of Gebriel Jesus and subsequent injury at the 2022 World Cup, Arteta’s side have effectively been playing without a traditional No.9 since the turn of the year and to compensate for that, Saka, Martinelli and Ødegaard have stepped up to the plate.
Indeed, to date Saka has bagged an impressive 19 goals and assists (10 goals, nine assists) in the league, while Ødegaard has picked up an equally impressive 16 goals and assists (nine goals, seven assists) and Martinelli is in close pursuit with 13 goals and assists (11 goals, two assists). When we break that down into direct contributions to Arsenal’s league campaign, it points to some pretty impressive numbers.
Pépé, Aubameyang & Co. - Arsenal's record signings
Last updated: December 27, 2022
For example, Saka’s 19 goals and assists in the Premier League account for no less than 32% of Arsenal’s league goals to date. While Ødegaard and Martinelli bag equally impressive returns of 27% and 22% respectively. Which, in no uncertain terms, underlines just how important the three players are to Arsenal scoring goals and continuing to win games, despite their No.9 being out of action for the best part of three months. If Arteta’s side can claim their first league title in almost 20 years, it will be down to these three players and their ingenuity in front of goal.