All Emery’s Arsenal signings rated – Do you agree?

A quick evaluation of Unai Emery signings with ratings by Martin

I was on social media, an Arsenal Facebook group actually, and someone asked what did we think of Unai Emery’s new signings this season and it got me thinking, how have they worked out? Success or failure? aAd so I have decided to give my view on how each player has worked out for us.

Stephan Lichtsteiner

The 35-year-old has struggled really, he is simply too old to adapt his game to the rigours of the Premier League and it has shown, it is fair to say that his signing has not worked out.

Rating 2/10

Denis Suarez

He could have been so good for us but again, he has not worked out too well, not really sure why, it does appear that Emery lacks faith in the loanee and the chances are he will return to Barcelona at the end of the season, that said, there is still time for him to make an impact, if the manager allows it.

Rating 2/10

Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Sokratis has shown his age recently, he is 30 and simply does not come across as a leader in the defence, he should have brought experience and stability to our defence but that has not happened, we do keep conceding goals, he does do a job for sure, but we do need a long term replacement and while he has not been a failure, he not been a success either.

Rating 5/10

Lucas Torreira

What can I say, I like him, ok, he has not developed into a game changer just yet but boy does he have passion and I like that, he can be inconsistent at times but we need to be patient, he is only 23 and overall, on balance he has been a success.

Rating 6/10

Bernd Leno

Top keeper, safe, reliable and does his job, he has displaced Petr Cech which pleased me, never liked Cech in our goal and he deserves to be our number one, he is only 27 and unless something goes dramatically wrong he will be a consistent presence between the sticks for years to come, overall, I rate him as a roaring success.

Rating 8/10

Mattéo Guendouzi

An absolute success for me, I love this kid, yeah I know he has had his bad moments and he does get the nerves jangling but come on, he is just 19, he came from a Ligue 2 side in France and he has adapted to the English game like a duck to water, this lad has a great future ahead of him and he will get better every season, you watch, in three years time he will be a £100 Million player.

Rating 8/10

There you go, that is my opinion, I am sure some of you will disagree vehemently and that is ok, this is purely my opinion based on what I have seen myself this season, I have taken age, experience, performance, future prospects and so forth into consideration and come up with my own ratings.



  1. Leno for me has been our player of the season
    Lich as been ,if I’m honest one of the worst signings I’ve ever seen (and he was free)read that he’s in talks to sign a 12 month extension ?
    Torriera started well but seems to have gone off the boil
    Suarez,not sure why we spent all of January trying to sign him tbh ,another player to make the numbers up it seems
    Papa and guendouzi have both been solid additions

  2. I disagree Sokratis and Torreira. Sokratis deserves 8/9, he has been outstanding, challenges for the ball, good foresight, unaffriad to go for difficult balls and always ready to bring strength, fight and courage against our opposition. Torreira has natural ability, if given the responsibilities to stay with defence and not try to become too creative then he would have become even better. I think Emery gave him the responsibility to create and that was where some of our defensive problems started from. Torreira is a very good defensive midfielder.

    1. I agree with you Pat, I think Sokratis is a beast. Ok, at times he turns into a WWE/WWF wrestler but he plays like he loves our club. Same with Torriera, like Guendouzi, a future star.

  3. didn’t you see the leadership of sokratis in man u Chelsea Tottenham and Liverpool (home) games.
    sure he got that red that almost cost us the round in the Europa league but he has been brilliant

    1. Did not see the leadership in Spuds Away?He was immense that day and had DAH DAH Kane in his back pocket for the whole of the game.A game we would have WON if Mustafi had not needlessly given away a penalty.
      He has added aggression to a back line that used to play like pussycats.

  4. Okay Okay but Sokratis deserves an eight.. and Torreira? His problem started during the Dec period when Emery started pushing him up front, asking him to be a box to box midfielder.
    Start of the season when he got his chance, he was always staying In front of our defense and you’ll hardly see him up in the pitch, but for some unknown reasons since Emery started pushing him up front, he hasn’t impressed.
    I hope we don’t ruin this one too, his job is not to create or bomb forward, but hell like Arsenal’s tradition, we want him to create, run around the pitch and defend when we clearly saw his job was defending and covering last year

    1. I can’t believe Sokratis gets better ratings than Toreirra. That’s just passion above quality as Toreirra is a defensive midfielder we need whilst Sokratis should be replaced.

      1. For once I largely agree with you. I just cannot share the general overrating of the very limited and wrestling style Sokratis. He is OK at best. At worst, a liability. Some of our younger fans have been so starved of seeing REAL CB QUALITY that they hype a clumsy though passionate middler and make out he is top class. He clearly is nowhere near top class. I also like Guendouzi, though he has clear weaknesses at his still tender age. Leno is top class IMO and Torreira a clear success too. Lichsteiner, words fail me, which is unusual to put it mildly!

          1. I am surprised that you think I have been absent, as I have not Pat. I am not bound to post on every thread and tbh, some threads are manufactured tosh but actually say nothing and so I do not bother wirh them, mostly, except to sometimes ask the article writers why they bother. But I appreciate your good wishes, of course, and happily return them!

  5. IMO You can’t give Suarez a 2/10 since has not had a chance to play any serious minutes.

    I would give Torreira more than a 6/10 if you give Guendouzie an 8/10.

    Sokaratis should be at least a 6/10 we are better with him than without him.

  6. A very sensible, realistic assessment of how they have performed.Socratic is a heart and soul player who will never be the commanding presence we need at centre back.Torreria started off with a bang but has shaded off during the past two months .The fact that he has been deployed higher up the park than he was in Italy may account for this and hopefully he will come good next season.For the fees involved Leno and Guendouzi have been excellent buys.The less said about Lichsteiner the better.Basically he is finished.As to Suarez, I do not see him as a future playmaker for our Club.The premier league is too physical for him.

  7. I fully agree with the ratings though I feel Sokratis could have gotten an 8/10 and Lichtsteiner a 0.5/10. Torreira has been the biggest disappointment for me, he showed so much promise in the beginning but gradually has been getting worse with every game. Can’t stay on his feet and is constantly getting muscled of the ball. It’s not his fault, he simply lacks the physique of a DM. I believe his future lies in a different position maybe CM.

    Lastly I just want to say cursed be thy rumours about Lichtsteiner getting a new deal to extend his horror stay at our great club! We deserve better!

  8. You are too harsh on Socrates and Lucas, these are the players we required years back, they have the bite and pedigree to be at AFC, Leno took time to settle, now seems solid. Guendouzi is a bit overrated, should improve over the summer, a good signing for the future (who has performed average this season unlike the “one for the future” which never materialized – Chambers, Jenks, Ox, Theo and the list goes on). Lich. and Suarez 1/10 (Suarez 1/10 as the Emery has no faith in him – remember he wants CAM position, Emery wants him wide)

  9. How you can give give Mattéo Guendouzi 8 and sokratis 5 is really beyond me,sokratis has been excellent,I know sometimes he overdo it but he’s been a great buy,do you see the way he celebrate when he slide the ball away from Pedro against Chelsea,that’s exactly what I want from an arsenal defender,the passion the commitment,the ability to give your all and you said he’s not been a good leader,do you even watch arsenal play,he’s been the only real leader we have in the big games,in the fa cup against man united,immediately he got injured they scored 3 that should tell you how good he’s been,he may not be world class but he’s been a fantastic signing.

  10. Sokratis has been such a buy… had my doubts, but he’s been brilliant! If only we had some more like him!!
    Very happy with Torreira, Leno & Guendouzi….
    Lichtsteiner is one to forget…..not seen enough of Suarez to comment

    1. I agree, Sue. I have my suspicions about Suarez but it is unfair towards him to give him a 2. If anything give the club a 2 for spending 2 million of our supposedly scares pounds on him.

  11. Exactly sue,I don’t get all this he’s not a world class defender,how many world class defenders do we have in the premier league,I can mention more than 10 defenders in the top 6 that sokratis he’s better than,but most arsenal fans will tell you he’s not good enough to be enter any top 6 team,at least he gives he’s all in every match,unlike some player we can not mention,am sure sue will know the player am talking about lol.

  12. Torreira – 8, come on he’s been a rock for us! Sokratis – 7, solid and strong – your are stingy!!

  13. ..just to indicate the impact of *Sokratis we need only consider whether or not our fans would be displeased were the captaincy be placed in his hands (?)…well…

    In the absence of Captain Kos, i would happily see Sokratis as an able type and character to wear that band. Mature in body, attitude as well in mind – he ought rightly to be rated an 8+ (above).

  14. Lich 5 – for kicking off with Dier when he was shushing Arsenal fans. Also we know he has quality, but has been forced to play out of position/not been given a run of games/part games.
    Suarez N/A – hardly played but I have seen some positives
    Sokratis 8
    Torreira 8 – when his form dropped he’d played loads of games at extreme levels of dedication/effort. Normal for him to need a break and freshen up.
    Leno 8
    Guendouzi 9

  15. Lichtsteiner: I’d give him a 3, the extra point is because he always looks angry and up for a fight lol.

    Suarez: Hard to judge as he’s played under 70 minutes in the PL, how can you judge a player in cameo appearance of 10-15 minutes spells over a few games?
    Two questions;
    1) Does Emery just not fancy him, and if so why did we spend weeks chasing him when Emery knows the player from his Sevilla days.

    2) Was he signed with a view to intergrating him into the squad this season, and then get him more minutes next season. This could be so as not to disrupt the first eleven at such a critical and very tight run in.

    Sokratis: 7-8, he’s brought a bit of steel and grit to the defence, loves a tackle.

    Torreira: 7. His form has dipped over the past 2-3 months, also he needs to spend more time on his feet, rther than his backside.

    Leno: 8. Great shot stopper and his distribution is good, he needs to communicate with his defenders better, I’ve seen some of them telling him to call for crosses rather than just coming for them, speaking of crosses, I can’t be the only one who’s noticed his inability to handle crosses with any confidence.

    Guendouzi: 7. I know he’s young and he has done well, but I couldn’t count the amount of times I’ve been out of my seat shouting for him to pass the ball, seconds before he’s been tackled and had the ball nicked from him. If he continues to work hard and develop, he could turn into a top player.

    1. stubill, your assessments are fair. I personally think Lichtsteiner has been better than most people seem to rate him; his latter games have been reasonable.

  16. To me Sokratis deserves more than 5/10. Maybe a 7/10 at least.
    Arguable one of our better performing CB’s so far.
    Torreira just seems to have gone off the boil.

          1. Maybe b2b position doesn’t suit him I agree, and emery is the one that played him there, but I believe he did it with the bigger picture at mind. Earlier on in the season when he played dm and xhaka was deployed in the position he now plays b2b/dlp whichever tickles your fancy, we saw what a liability he xhaka was and he was actually giving goals away with his immobililty getting caught out the whole time. Now that they’ve been switched and xhaka has been told to stay put and just spray passes and rough up the opposition we’ve actually performed better as a whole in midfield even though torreira has been less effective. When he deployed them both as dm’s it was too negative for your liking as well, so yes maybe torreira has been a little less effective but as I said it’s for the greater good. I certainly won’t be blaming the manager for doing the best with what he’s got and minimizing the weaknesses of our midfielders and trying to squeeze out the best from them. Jah son always looking for anything to pin on emery, who is doing admirably for his first season. I don’t know what you put in that vape yourself midkemma, but you can miss me with that

      1. Some people have recognised that the manager has had an impact.

        Playing Torreira as a B2B was pointed out by Eddie earlier on, how Torreira form dip seems to coincide with that.

        I fully recognise that Emery has picked the squad and too many times we have played too many def minded players and that has put extra pressure on ourselves and our def hasn’t benefited from it… Even though we had all these extra def players to help sort our def side out. IMO that is the manager picking the wrong players and the player ratings have suffered from it.

        While I have blamed Emery for that, I will praise him for the last couple games, I feel that when he picks the right players for the formation then we do very well. More so with Emery coaching and desire to win the ball back quickly.

  17. Mattéo Guendouzi is overrated,though he is still very young but I can’t believe you will give sokratis who has been one of our best player 5/10,he should get at least 8.

  18. I think you wrote this knowing that people will disagree with it. Take a look at our players that are up for the player of year award. Leno is there, allot of fans have congratulated him of late. Sokratis is there, when he goes out of the side his loss is usually felt. Laca and Auba of course, and then Xhaka, I think it might be four of them and many fans trying to say that Leno deserves to also be on it, of late. So Sokratis has made the list along with Xhaka, these two are two of our biggest players, they are usually involved heavily with the hard fought and difficult fixtures that we competed in this season. I think the fans got it spot on, or if it was Arsenal choosing which ones, then the fans having the last say for the winner, whichever way, I think they got it right. Bellerin and holding if not for injury could’ve made it a more difficult choice. This last stretch is the most crucial though, someone who just missed out on it, being close, could go on and be player of the year, ahead of everyone on that list. I would say that Torriera, Guendouzi, Kolasinac, Iwobi, possibly have the chance of throwing it all up in the air.

    Just seen that Welbz is back training, good news. He was looking dangerous when playing with Auba and Laca early on. Good pressing, always on the move, it’ll be good to get him back, it also gives us more options out wide.

  19. I kinda agree with the ratings, other than Guendouzi, he should be on a 5.
    While this may sound harsh, I am keeping in mind the manager and how he has exposed them in his tactics. Like pushing Torreira forward(B2B as Eddie points out), that hurt his rating IMO when we look at the whole season.

    How many times have we watched Emery play too many def minded players and the team as a whole suffered?

    I have kept the recent games in mind when thinking about the ratings, look how good we looked as a team when our CM wasn’t 2 DMs ahead of 3CBs. It has been such a joy! If it had been like that all season long then I would agree that they deserve higher ratings, it hasn’t though has it?

    Not a doom and gloom from me either, when Emery plays attacking football then it is a joy, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we keep playing attacking football till the end of the season. If it was just on the past couple games then the ratings would be much higher from me 🙂

  20. When has Torriera been specifically played as a box to box midfielder? Absolute rubbish. He might have come on as a sub and been pushed forward but please! Guendouzi does overdo it at times but quite frankly has been a revelation as to how youth can influence games. So why doesn’t Emery play more of them like Eddie, Saka and some of the others or at least bring them on as subs when we are cruising?

  21. The little I’ve seen from Suarez with his scanty game time, I think he is very very good. Unfortunately Emery can’t give him a lot of game time at this critical time otherwise the fans will come down heavily for his (Emery’s) head if something goes wrong.
    Nonetheless I would have preferred a tall or taller Suarez to what we presently have.

    1. Gilly, valid points re Denis Suarez. As Arsenal’s fixture list intensifies it would be expected that Suarez will get more game time.

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