3 Arsenal players who disappointed in 2023/24 season

  • Arsenal enjoyed excellent 2023/24 season with multiple players standing out
  • Only a few performed below par
  • Some didn't make most of limited opportunities
Gabriel Martinelli failed to build a coming-of-age 2022/23 season
Gabriel Martinelli failed to build a coming-of-age 2022/23 season / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Arsenal's squad in 2023/24 was as deep as its been in years, yet Mikel Arteta relied upon a select few in crunch time.

The Gunners certainly had their fair share of injuries throughout the campaign which forced the boss to tinker, but they weren't ravaged like some of their rivals. Excluding Jurrien Timber, who missed most of his debut season after tearing his ACL, Arteta had a full complement of players available for the run-in, but the Spaniard refused to make changes down the stretch.

Arteta's tendency to go unchanged pointed towards a stable and high-performing core, but it also showed that players on the fringes hadn't offered enough to challenge for a starting berth. There were many individual standouts in 2023/24, but several underperformed, too.

There were many individual standouts in 2023/24, but several underperformed, too, and thus, they weren't trusted by the manager when it mattered most.

Here were the three most disappointing Arsenal players of the 2023/24 campaign.

1. Reiss Nelson

Reiss Nelson
Nelson struggled to make the most of rare starts / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Nelson has been in a perpetual state of flux at Arsenal. The Hale End graduate has had his moments, none more so than his last-gasp winner against Bournemouth last season, but he's never been able to gain any serious momenum in north London.

Loan moves offered periods of respite more than anything else, with the Gunners struggling to find a suitable buyer for the talented winger.

Nelson signed a contract extension last summer off the back a decent enough season in which he showed his value as a squad player, but it feels as if the Englishman took a step back in 2023/24.

Once again, his opportunities were kept to a minimum with Bukayo Saka rarely missing out, but Nelson failed to grab any chances he was handed to impress with both hands. There was occasional exuberance off the bench, but his performances were often meek and bereft of assertion.

He ended the season with a goal and two assists in less than 650 minutes of action.

2. Gabriel Martinelli

Gabriel Martinelli
Martinelli lost his spot to Leandro Trossard down the stretch / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

2022/23 was a coming-of-age season for Martinelli as Arsenal challenged for the league title for the first time since Arsene Wenger left town.

The Brazilian had before been able to produce purple patches but little else in north London, with his breakout season perhaps pointing towards the fulfilment of potential.

However, a sub-par 2023/24 campaign has some questioning whether his brilliant season the year prior was a mere flash in the pan. Such stances would seem harsh.

Martinelli struggled this season, however, but it wasn't all his doing. Arsenal's once proficient left-hand side dynamics altered, and Martinelli was often isolated down his flank with much of Arsenal's cohesive work arriving down the right.

Overall, Martinelli's return of 13 goal contributions from 44 games was a notable drop from his haul of 21 (including 15 Premier League goals) the previous season. He was outperformed by Leandro Trossard, and couldn't win back his place after returning from injury in the spring as a result.

Still, now's not the time to write the 22-year-old off.

3. Fabio Vieira

Fábio Vieira
Vieira's season was hampered by an injury / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Arsenal came out of nowhere to sign Fabio Vieira in the summer of 2022. The Portuguese playmaker had minimal senior experience with Porto, but had put up pretty staggering figures in the Primeira Liga.

The midfielder's career in north London, however, started with injury which disrupted his first pre-season and he struggled to make a discernible impact in year one as a result.

Many suspected the talented creator would take the leap in year two, but Vieira found it hard to get on the pitch, let alone have a say in Arsenal's title challenge. He played just 560 minutes in 2023/24, missing a big chunk of the season through injury.

Concerns over his physical shortcomings continue to ring true, and the speed at which Arteta's project is evolving means Vieira might not get the chance to showcase his best in the Premier League.