FIVE players who hold the key for Arsenal this season

As it’s still so early in the season there’s no reason to suggest Arsenal cannot add to their FA Cup and Community Shield triumphs earlier this calendar year.

Having had to wait nine years to end their trophy drought, the FA Cup final victory over Hull at Wembley may just have started a new and successful era for the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger followed that up by spending around £90million on new recruits this summer in order to further enforce his side’s chances of a first Premier League title in 10 years and, at the very least, and eighteenth consecutive top four finish.

But who will be key to those targets becoming a reality? Here’s FIVE we think could prove to be crucial to Wenger’s master plan this season.

[ffc-gallery]Click on Arsene Wenger to reveal

Arsene Wenger[/ffc-gallery]

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Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil

Arsenal’s club record signing hasn’t exactly set the Premier League alight since arriving in a £44million deal from Real Madrid last summer.

That said, his contribution was vital to Arsenal’s success last term. Playing mostly in his favoured role in the middle of the park, the 25-year-old German international racked up an impressive 11 assists and six goals in all competitions.

This season, however, he’s been forced out wide more and his game as suffered as a result. But calls to reinstate him as a more centrally attacking midfielder against Aston Villa last weekend were well and truly heard by Arsene Wenger and Ozil went on to register a goal and an assists in a 3-0 romp at Villa Park.

If Ozil is given the opportunity to establish himself in this role for the entire campaign there’s no doubt he’ll be one of the most important names on the Gunners’ team sheet each week.

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Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez

Like Ozil last summer, Sanchez arrived at the Emirates in July with heaps of expectation on his shoulders. The £37m fee Arsenal paid Barcelona for him didn’t help, but his reputation as one of La Liga’s most dangerous attackers and an impressive World Cup in Brazil with Chile meant he had to live to his reputation in England.

And so far he’s done just that, with four goals and an assits from his first nine first-team appearances for the Gunners.

Given the fact he can play either as a winger or a striker will be a huge boost for Arsene Wenger and he’s already proven that he be a vital piece in the Gunners’ attacking arsenal (pun intended).

His finish in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City and his sublime free-kick in the 2-1 Capital One Cup home defeat to Southampton are also proof that he can pop with crucial and wonderful goals when needed, which is perhaps what Arsenal have lacked since Thierry Henry.

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Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey

The Welshman enjoyed the season of his career last season, netting 10 goals and assisting eight others in the Premier League, as well as netting the winning goal in the FA Cup final.

So the expectation for him to continue that form this term has been huge. But he hasn’t failed to deliver so far with two goals and one assist in his opening five league games.

Ramsey’s importance to Arsenal was evident last season when he was sidelined for three months with thigh problem. The Gunners, winning just 50% of the league games he was sidelined for, and you get the feeling he’ll be just as crucial for them this season as well.

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Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck

Welbeck’s deadline day arrival from Manchester United shocked a lot of fans. He wasn’t Wenger’s first choice option in the market and was perhaps forced to bring him in after Olivier Giroud was ruled out for months with an ankle injury.

But there’s no doubting Welbeck’s ability, with many people believing the lack of game time at Manchester United cost him his development as a striker and that he needs regular first team football to really reach his full potential as a goal scorer.

Well now’s his chance to shine at Arsenal and, despite having a slow start to life in north London, his goal against Aston Villa last weekend could well spark him in to life.

With Olivier Giroud out and Yaya Sanogo not yet ready at this level, it’s down to Welbeck to score the goals to push Arsenal closer towards more silverware this season.

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Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker

The 29-year-old German was a rock for Arsenal last season, overseeing 16 clean sheets in the league when he was in the team, as well popping up with two goals.

This term he and Koscielny are yet to really get going, although he was awarded an extended summer break after playing a huge part in Germany’s World Cup triumph in Brazil.

The 3-0 win at Villa last week was his first clean sheet in the league this season and, as the season goes on, you’d be mad not to expect the German and the defence around him to match, or even beat, the volume of shut outs as last term.

His partnership with Koscielny is as impressive as any other defensive partnership in the world, and said partnership will be just as crucial to Arsenal’s cause this season as it was last.

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