The group stages at the 2022 World Cup may well go down as the most dramatic we’ve ever seen. Amid all the politics, division and controversy, the football in Qatar has well and truly taken centre stage. Thank God!
Ten Gooners are representing their respective nations in the Middle East, but only a couple have played a significant amount of minutes thus far.
Nine of them, however, will extend their Qatari stay as their sides progressed into the knockouts and, from what we’ve seen so far, there are certainly a couple of players that might fancy their chances of returning to London Colney all cocky with a World Cup winners’ medal around their necks.
Arsenal at the 2022 World Cup: Group stage player ratings
Here are our Arsenal player ratings from the 2022 World Cup group stage.
Bukayo Saka (149 minutes) – 7/10 – Saka’s World Cup campaign started with a bang as he bagged a brace in England’s Group B opener against Iran. Both of his finishes were excellent, and the Arsenal starboy appeared destined for a big tournament. However, he was quiet against the impressive USA on Matchday 2 before Gareth Southgate rotated his pack to round off the group.
Aaron Ramsdale (0 minutes) – N/A – Unsurprisingly, Jordan Pickford played every minute of the group stage, leaving Ramsdale unused on the bench.
Ben White (0 minutes) – N/A – White has left the England squad due to “personal reasons” after failing to play a single minute throughout the group stage.
Matt Turner (270 minutes) – 8/10 – Turner may well have been Arsenal’s most impressive performer of the group stage. In 270 minutes of action, the American shot-stopper kept two clean sheets and failed to concede from open play. He commanded his box expertly against England, too.
William Saliba (27 minutes) – 4/10 – Saliba made his World Cup debut off the bench in France’s inconsequential defeat to Tunisia on Matchday 3. However, the young centre-back produced a nervy cameo and it’s unlikely we’ll see much of him as the tournament progresses.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (66 minutes) – 6/10 – Tomiyasu headed into the tournament injured and Japan have handled his minutes wisely thus far. He made two appearances off the bench in the group stage, helping his side turn the tide against Germany on Matchday 1.
Gabriel Jesus (92 minutes) – 5/10 – Richarlison stole the show for Brazil in their 2-0 victory over Serbia to open the group, meaning Jesus was limited to two cameo appearances off the bench to start the World Cup before Tite handed him a start on Matchday 3. The Arsenal striker’s goal drought, however, has followed him to the Middle East.
Gabriel Martinelli (93 minutes) – 6.5/10 – Martinelli’s big chance came against Cameroon where he played the full 90. The young winger certainly would’ve endeared himself to the manager as he dazzled down Brazil’s left, particularly in the first half, and he was unlucky not to score his first World Cup goal. I’m expecting to see more of Martinelli should Brazil enjoy a deep run.
Granit Xhaka (270 minutes) – 7.5/10 – The Swiss skipper continues to shine in multiple functions for his national team. After attempting to replicate his advanced Arsenal role on Matchday 1, Xhaka produced a mature display at the base of midfield against Brazil in Switzerland’s group game. Finished the group with a booking after a vintage skirmish.
Thomas Partey (270 minutes) – 6.5/10 – The Arsenal midfielder quietly went about his work in the middle of the park, but he certainly wasn’t the star of Ghana’s midfield. That title goes to Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus. Partey was the only Gooner to endure a group-stage elimination in Qatar.