Arsenal's top 5 players of the season so far

It’s been a turbulent season for Arsenal FC full of ups and downs, but as we enter the decisive phase of the campaign who have been the stand-out performers?
Jon Wilde looks, in reverse order, at the five leading contenders for the 2012-13 Arsenal Player of the Year. 

5) Kieran Gibbs

The 23-year-old England international still gets injured a little too often for comfort, but he helped to hasten the departure of Andre Santos by nailing down the left-back spot as his own. It will be interesting to see what happens when Gibbs is fit again after the impressive start made by the new challenger for his place, Nacho Monreal, but going forward in particular the No 28 has impressed throughout this campaign.

4) Mikel Arteta

It says a lot for Arteta’s ability that he is an automatic midfield choice when available ahead of the likes of Abou Diaby, Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky and Francis Coquelin, not to mention Andrey Arshavin and loaned-out Emmanuel Frimpong. The Spaniard has proven he was no panic buy on that traumatic August 2011 transfer deadline day and some of his goals from the penalty spot this term have been decisive.

3) Lukas Podolski

The German has not always taken kindly to being played out on the left, but he has shown himself to be a most worthy summer acquisition and decent value for his £11million transfer fee. Although not the perfect replacement for Robin van Persie – who would have been though? – The 27-year-old has chipped in with 12 goals already and his performance in the 5-1 victory at home to West Ham was exquisite.

2) Santi Cazorla

The jury may have been out on Cazorla when he arrived from Malaga last summer but it isn’t now, for Arsenal fans have taken the little Spaniard to their hearts. A versatile performer who can operate in any area behind the striker, either out wide or in the centre, the 28-year-old looked the part from day one. His hat-trick at Reading has been the highlight so far, but that was just one of a string of eye-catching displays.

1) Theo Walcott

It may be controversial putting Walcott ahead of Cazorla, but the England man’s total of 18 goals up to now just cannot be overlooked. And it may have been higher if Arsene Wenger had played him more at the start of the season when, despite the Frenchman’s claims to the contrary, the contract stand-off between player and club clearly affected his selection policy. Whether out wide or through the middle, Theo has been terrific and Arsenal must be delighted they have him on board long term.

Written by Jon Wilde from

Many of you may be asking where is Jack Wilshere. Well injuries caused him to miss some of the season. Come season end, if he keeps fit, he may well come out on top. Give your view on who you think are the top 5 players.....

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