Lucas Torreira – $ 34 Million – A +
Though his most dominating performances have come from a position on the bench, Torreira has been dominant for Arsenal all season. Representing another midfielder who fits the modern game – Torreira is a short, pacy, dynamic holding midfielder whose ability to chase down the ball and win back possession sets him apart. Such qualities are essential for maintaining a significant push for the top 4 and beyond. Comparisons between him and N’golo Kante are not unwarranted. The players are quite similar and represent the future of European soccer.
Bernd Leno – $ 28 Million – B
Though Leno has been battling Petr Cech for Arsenal’s spot in goal, he has found it difficult to hold down the spot for himself. However, following Cech’s recent injury, Leno has been required to take over. He has been top class in most of his starts and looks to be able to tie down the position as Arsenal’s number 1 for years to come.
Sokratis – $ 18 Million – A-
A solid presence in the backline of Dortmund, Sokratis has continued his good form of recent seasons this year. With an aging backline, Arsenal require leaders to kickstart the new generation of the team. The Greek has shown he has the qualities to take the Gunners to the next level and if he builds on his current form, he will be in the perfect position to do so.
Matteo Guendouzi – $ 9 Million – B+
Guendouzi has been a breath of fresh air in the Arsenal midfield. The French teenager had some minor growing pains as he transitioned from Ligue 1 to the Premier League, however he has since become an integral part of Arsenal’s starting lineup. With Aaron Ramsey’s departure looking imminent, Guendouzi will be required to take on a more prominent role in the squad. He has the potential to join a long line of Frenchman who have sparked phenomenal careers after donning the red of Arsenal.
Stephan Lichtsteiner – $ 0 – B
A good deal given that he was available on a free transfer, Lichtsteiner has added needed depth to the Arsenal defense.
Fred – $ 67 Million – F
Fred has been, in a word, atrocious. His performances for Manchester United have been emblematic of the state of the entire team: sluggish, tiresome, lacking any determination. The Brazilian midfielder was not put in the best position when he was thrown into the current turmoil at Old Trafford. He has failed, however, to create any hints of positivity with his play. Following a few starts (and defeats) at the beginning of the season, Fred soon found his destined position at Man U – the bench. Brought in to act as a sort of defensive midfielder who would free up Paul Pogba, Fred ended up costing the team valuable possession whenever he touched the ball. And on defense, Fred has been a non-factor. He has struggled to keep up with teams such as Bournemouth. In short, Fred has not lived up to a fraction of his high price tag. Regardless of what deals are completed for Mourinho’s side in January, Fred remains as a sign of what poor decisions and trigger-finger-spending can cost the squad.
No One – A+
With their brand new stadium looking less and less brand new, the North London squad had little financial room to work with over the summer. No worries though. Poccetino sent a squad of his players to compete in a summer tournament that would improve their chemistry and sharpen their skills. That tournament – the world cup. That squad – the England national team. Tottenham, however, have looked sharp and alive for most of the season. They have had their best start to a Premier League in the squad’s history and will continue to be a dynamic pothole for Liverpool and Man City to avoid.