Arsenal are still holding out hopes for jumping up the table, so with that in mind, here are three wild card players who could turn everything around.
This season has been quite the ride. From Unai Emery to Freddie Ljungberg to Mikel Arteta, Arsenal have remained mired in the middle of the table, unable to take advantage of openings to lift themselves up closer to Champions League contention.
But under Arteta, they are starting to lay a foundation for a better future. The problem with that foundation is that it’s still drying. This isn’t quick-dry cement, it’s that long, overnight stuff that people carve their names in.
Meaning that this season is still an unfinished book. We could stay midtable. We could drop into relegation battles, we could push up towards a top four finishing spot. But a lot of what happens will come from wildcard players that we can’t really predict.
There are certain players we know what we can expect out of at this point. Guys like Bernd Leno, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, even Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli. But there are some guys, some potentially massive impact guys, who could swing the balance if they can do what we’ve seen them do, but perhaps not seen lately.
I want to highlight three guys that could change the season. Three guys who define the word “wildcard” because they could do anything. They could be nonfactors for the rest of the year, or they could turn things around immediately.
Let’s start with No. 3.
3. Sead Kolasinac
With Kieran Tierney just returning to full training, excitement may be buzzing on his return, which is still slated for March, but I want to turn the attention to Sead Kolasinac. The Bosnian bruiser has twice now been a contender for player of the season, twice in two years, but has been derailed by injuries.
I don’t think Kolasinac’s impact gets the credit it deserves. When he is fit and firing, he is unstoppable. He’s fearless, he brings an edge to the team, and his attacking threat is just delicious.
It’s something we haven’t seen a lot of under Arteta because of injuries, however. But should he come back soon and regain his starting spot, he may start to revolutionize this attack, starting at the back.
On to No. 2.