Squad analysis

Behind the Numbers

In the 100th edition of our popular Behind the Numbers series, our statistician analyses Arsenal's first-team squad for this season.

Arsenal's first-team squad for season 2013/14 is 29-strong, with the players coming from 13 different countries, and all are aged between 16 and 32.

The most experienced member of the squad is terms of appearances is 24-year-old Theo Walcott, who has played 270 times for the first team. Bacary Sagna is the only other current player with more than 200 games to his name.

"The 29 first-teamers have played an average of 85.4 games each"

Overall the 29 first-teamers have played an average of 85.4 games each, though this does include Emiliano Viviano and Gedion Zelalem, who are yet to make their senior debuts.

Seven players (24 per cent of the squad) have represented Arsenal 10 times or fewer, while 41 per cent (12 players) have played at least 100 times.

Seven of the squad are nominally classed as defenders, and that is the position where Arsenal appear to have the most experience. They average 107.1 games each, compared to 93.9 appearances each on average for the 10 midfielders, and 67.3 each for the nine forwards.

The three goalkeepers have played an average of 60.3 times for Arsenal, though that figure is skewed by Viviano's zero.

Walcott is also the leading scorer in the squad, with 64 goals, ahead of Nicklas Bendtner (45), Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky (22 each).

Incidentally, Bendtner - who was on the bench for the Stoke game on Sunday - last scored for Arsenal on March 2, 2011, a hat-trick against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup.

Between them the current squad have scored 306 goals for the Club, which works out as an average of 11.8 each (not including the goalkeepers). Seven of the outfield players are yet to get off the mark.

The forwards in the first-team squad have an average of 17.3 goals each, the 10 midfielders have scored 10.7 each, while the seven defenders have netted an average of 7.8.

Arsenal first team squad 2013/2014 (not including players out on loan)

Number Player  Nation Position Age 
1 Wojciech Szczesny  Poland  Goalkeeper  23
3 Bacary Sagna France Defender 30
Per Mertesacker  Germany  Defender 28
5 Thomas Vermaelen Belgium Defender 27
6 Laurent Koscielny  France Defender 28
Tomas Rosicky Czech Republic Midfielder  32
8 Mikel Arteta Spain Midfielder 31
9 Lukas Podolski Germany Forward 28
10 Jack Wilshere England Midfielder 21
11 Mesut Ozil Germany Midfielder  24
12 Olivier Giroud France Forward 26
13 Emiliano Viviano Italy Goalkeeper 27
14 Theo Walcott England Forward 24
15 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain England Forward 20
16 Aaron Ramsey Wales Midfielder  22
17 Nacho Monreal Spain Defender 27
19 Santi Cazorla Spain Midfielder  28
20 Mathieu Flamini France Midfielder  29
21 Lukasz Fabianski Poland Goalkeeper 28
22 Yaya Sanogo France Forward 20
23 Nicklas Bendtner Denmark Forward 25
24 Abou Diaby France Midfielder  27
25 Carl Jenkinson England Defender 21
26 Emmanuel Frimpong Ghana Midfielder 21
28 Kieran Gibbs England Defender 23
30 Ju Young Park South Korea Forward 28
31 Ryo Miyaichi  Japan Midfielder 20
44 Serge Gnabry Germany Forward 18
58 Gedion Zelalem Germany Midfielder 16


Squad by position

Squad by position



Fig 1: Squad appearances. Fig 2: Squad goals.

Fig 1


Zelalem is the youngest member of the squad, at 16 years and 242 days, while Rosicky is virtually twice his age, at 32 and 356 days.

"The average age of the squad as a whole is 25 years and 165 days"

The average age of the squad as a whole is 25 years and 165 days. The squad gets younger the further forward up the pitch you go. The average age of the defence is 26 years and 325 days - more than a year older than the average midfielder (25 years and 245 days) and nearly three years older than the forwards (23 years and 264 days).

Eight (28 per cent) of the squad are 21 or younger, while only three (10 per cent) are 30 or above. The most common age is 28 (six players), while more than a third of the squad are either 27 or 28.

January is the most common month for birthdays in the squad - five players were born in that month - with players born in winter appearing in markedly higher numbers than summer babies. Eleven players (38 per cent) were born in either December, January or February, with just four players (14 per cent) celebrating birthdays in May, June or July.


Squad average age by position

Squad average age by position



Squad ages

Squad ages



Squad birth months

Squad birth months


Nearly half of the squad (14 players) joined Arsenal within the last three years. These include Mathieu Flamini, who of course is in his second spell (having originally signed in 2004) but for the purposes of these stats, we are using his 2013 arrival date.

Three players are still here having signed in 2006. Walcott and Abou Diaby joined in January of that year (Diaby on January 13, Walcott a week later). Tomas Rosicky joined four months later.

Seven of the squad came through the Club's youth ranks, and these include players such as Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs, who have been affiliated to the Club for more than 10 years.

None of the players on the list however made their debut for the first team more than 10 years ago. Aside from Flamini (who first represented the team back in 2004) Bendtner made the earliest debut of all the players listed, against Sunderland in October 2005. Everyone else in the squad made their debut in 2006 or later.


Joined Arsenal

Joined Arsenal

As mentioned above, there are 13 different nationalities represented within the squad, with France (six), England and Germany (five each) leading the way. In fact those three countries account for more than half the group (55 per cent).

All but four of the squad have represented their countries at senior international level - that's 86 per cent of the squad who are full internationals.

Six players have more than 50 caps each - Lukas Podolski is the only Arsenal player with more than 100 caps. He became the youngest European to reach a century of caps when he brought up three figures during Euro 2012.

His compatriot Per Mertesacker is seven away from reaching triple figures, as is Tomas Rosicky for the Czech Republic.

There are a total of 802 international appearances in the Arsenal squad, meaning, on average, each player has been capped 27.7 times each for their country.



Squad international caps

Squad international caps



Squad nationalities

Squad nationalities


Stats correct as at September 25, 2013 

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