FIFA's back and with it comes the chance of bringing glory to the grounds of your favorite teams. For me that particular club is the mighty Arsenal FC, though you may well have different ideas. But where I always get caught up is... do I attempt to go through a season with the squad as it is, or simply jump into the editor and and get all the players we have been linked to for the past forever. Gonzalo Higuain FTW.
If I were to choose the latter then I'd definitely have to consult the 11 best strikers FIFA 17 has to offer, because that's one of the Gunners' weakest spots. But if I was to choose the former, I'd probably need a fairly comprehensive look at the pros and cons of the boys in red.
That's where this post comes in! I've had a look at the Arsenal's stats for FIFA 17, so you don't have to, and have thrown together this here breakdown of who should walk into your first team, and who probably shouldn't. So put the kettle on, get comfy and let's geek out over numbers:
Rating The Gunners
Arsenal have had a mixed run since the curtain came up on this season, what with a humbling 4-3 home loss to Liverpool F.C. right at the start. But with a team of bonafide world class stars, a solid midfield and a conveyor belt of talented youngsters, would you sink or swim at the helm of The Greatest Team The World Has Ever Seen?
According to the guys over at FUTHead, this is how the Arsenal faithful's attack will be statwise. Though pinch of salt! Francis Coquelin, Krystan Blelik and Mohamed Elneny are defensive midfielders, so their inclusion as attackers is quite the oversight.
27 | Germany | CAM | OVR: 89
The midfield maestro recently, and rather quietly, broke a personal record when he completed 104 passes in one game. Not bad for the rather harshly 89 rated playmaker.
After creating 20 goals for Arsenal last season and constantly being heralded as one of the best passers in the game, his 86 passing rating is a little underweighted, as is his pace. But his 74 finishing rating and 58 physical are spot on: he's not the best at ending attacks or fighting off defenders' attention.
+ Great at creating space
+ Master passer
+ Could play as False Nine or CF if lacking up front
- Easy to dispossess
- Erratic finisher
- Not great in the air
27 | Chile | LW | OVR: 87
Since walking into the Arsenal squad, Sanchez has been a revelation. But after damaging his hamstring last season, a grueling trek to winning the Copa América with his native Chile and picking up an ankle injury during the international break, the pocket-rocket hasn't quite looked himself. But that will be different in FIFA 17.
With ratings of 86 pace, 88 dribbling and 82 shooting, Sanchez is a formidable presence. Though looking back at some of the goals he's scored in the past, 82 isn't a very fair representation of his finishing ability. Plus I'd like a nice, rounded 90 dribbling, because he is a veritable master of the art.
+ Effortless dribbler
+ Quick on the ball
+ Great finisher
- Needs to be brought into game
- FIFA 17 underestimates his ability
31 | Spain | CM | OVR: 86
The creative lynchpin in Arsenal's midfield, Cazorla's influence is invaluable to the squad, as is his quick feet. Moved deeper from a CAM role to CM/CDM, Cazorla is an invaluable asset able to turn defense into attack at the flick of a coin as his 86 dribbling and 85 passing can attest to.
Cazorla has always been a wonder in FIFA's Arsenal team, but as the little maestro ages, he is succumbing to a slowing of pace with a rating of 71. And standing at 5' 6", he may not be winning many key headers for the Gunners.
+ Brilliant passer
+ Strong dribbler
+ Snappy slide tackler
+ Hard to remove off ball
- Not the quickest of midfielders
- Venturing further upfield can leave gaps in defense
29 | France | CF | OVR: 83
Arsenal's divisive striker extraordinaire comes flying in with a measly 83 overall rating in FIFA 17. And, to be honest, that comes as no great surprise. Despite scoring 24 goals and creating six last season, these numbers come off the back of one of the league's most erratic forwards.
Not particularly great in the pass or with the ball at his feet when compared to these 11 superstars, Giroud's strengths come in his 82 rated shooting ability and his 87 physicality. You guessed it, the man's a beast. So he may be a good choice to bring on if you're looking to preserve a lead, or fancy defending from the front despite his 38 defensive rating .
+ Great Target Man
+ Amazing heading ability
+ Very strong
- A divisive forward
28 | Spain | CF | OVR: 81
A welcome recent addition to Arsenal's attack, it will be interesting to see the multi-talented forward's abilities over the course of the season. Adept at playing both as a CF and RW, Pérez's main strengths lie just behind the main forward.
At 28 years old his only over 80 ratings are 81 dribbling and 83 shooting. Here's hoping he improves swiftly under your tutelage in career mode.
+ Good finisher
+ Tricky on the ball
+ Solid all-rounder
25 | England | CF | OVR: 80
Currently out injured with an unfortunate knee injury, Welbeck is still yet to fulfill his true promise at Arsenal, but we can be assured that when he returns he will play his heart out for the club.
A tall, strong and pacey forward, the all-rounder would be a great choice to compliment the inclusion of quick wingers and an adept CAM.
+ Good heading ability
+ Solid all-rounder
- Stats are low for a 25-year-old Premiership striker
Ones To Watch
23 | France
+ Strong, tall forward
- Still much to learn
20 | England
+ Quick forward
+ Fairly strong
+ Still learning his trade
18 | France
+ Highly rated youngster
+ Potential to be a solid all-rounder
- Relatively quick
18 | England
+ Pacey winger
+ An adequate dribbler
25 | Wales | CM | OVR: 84
An astonishing player -- when he performs at least -- Ramsey is Arsenal's go-to box to box midfielder. Adept at playing pretty much anywhere in midfield, Ramsey is an engine of a footballer that is hard to tire. Performing out of his skin at this year's European Championship with Wales, Ramsey showed that when he is on form he is certainly undroppable.
Which is why his overall rating of 84 is a disservice of the highest regard. His quality is there to be seen which is why his 81 dribbling stat, as well as his 80 passing, 76 physicality and 77 shooting should be a touch higher. But a spate of injuries may be down to his less-than-exemplary rating.
+ Strong all-rounder
+ Will be the complete midfielder with much play time and the right training
+ A natural in several positions
+ Stamina is super high
- Injury prone
- FIFA 17 stats belie his ability in CDM
23 | Switzerland | CM | OVR: 84
A legend in waiting, Xhaka is the tough-tackling deep lying playmaker Arsenal have been waiting for since Patrick Viera last pulled on the red and white. Though not the fastest of players, he has high 70s in dribbling, defense and physicality, with a sprinkling of 81 for passing. Given the right amount of game time he will be commanding the midfield like a true leader in no time.
+ Strong all-rounder
+ Solid passer and long ball specialist
+ Tough in the tackle
- Not the quickest player
27 | England | RM/LW/W | OVR: 81
Though a perennial underachiever during his ten year stint at the club, thanks to injuries and generally not living up to his potential, Walcott should be a welcome addition to your side due to his outrageous pace. On a good day, Walcott has the ability to utterly demolish defenses and turn in some beautiful goals. But on a bad day you'd only remember he was on the pitch if the camera happened to catch his face in the back of shot.
With a 93 rating in pace, an 80 in dribbling, a 77 in shooting and a 73 in passing, he'd be a strong candidate to start up front with Oezil and Sanchez alongside his pace.
+ Hideously fast
+ Tricky dribbler in the right hands
+ Not a bad finisher
- Not a great finisher
- One sided player
- Too weak to play upfront despite speed
23 | England | RW/LW/CAM | OVR: 79
Another player plagued by injury and shunning his true potential, but in the right hands The Ox can be a rampant goal machine. Whilst he is a fairly solid attacking midfielder, with 70s in the right places (73, 71 and 70 for passing, shooting and physicality respectively) and a sweet 89 and 84 in pace and dribbling too, given the right amount of game time he'll be smashing up china shops in a flash.
+ Fast and tricksy
+ Lots of potential
- Injury prone
25 | France | CDM | OVR: 81
The defensive midfielder Arsenal needs and deserves to have, Coquelin is a tough-tackling badass and should be a shoe-in to start every game. Not as refined as the N'Golo Kantés or Casemiros, he carries out his role of ball winning midfielder with gusto, which is exactly needed in a team that comprises of mainly attacking midfielders.
Stats of 81 physicality, 79 defense, and a surprise 76 in dribbling will aid dividends.
+ Solid tackler of the ball
+ Aggressive player
+ Can ably dribble out of trouble
- Best left behind your attacking players
24 | Egypt | CDM | OVR: 79
A strong defensive playmaker with a good pass and an eye for goal, Elneny hasn't graced the Arsenal starting 11 much as of yet, but as he gets to grips with the aggressive pace of the English Premier League, we'll start to see the four time Swiss League champion shine.
+ Good latent movement on ball
+ Solid passer
+ Strong player
- Static in attack
Ones To Watch
20 | Nigeria | LM/W | OVR: 70
+ Good dribbler
+ Quite strong
- Will need lots of game time
19 | USA | CM | OVR: 67
+ Strong dribbler
+ Good passer of the ball
+ Will be a solid all-rounder
- Will need significant game time. Loan list
19 | England | RM | OVR: 65
+ Good dribbler
- Lots to learn
31 | France | CB | OVR: 85
A long serving Arsenal favorite and a damn fine defender, Kos, as he's affectionately known, is a vastly underrated player in a team renowned for its defensive frailty. Quick (68 pac), strong (78 phy) and a boss at the back (85 def), the team would be considerably weaker without his experienced presence.
+ Quick player
+ Snappy tackler
+ The defensive glue
+ Brilliant standing tackler
24 | Germany | CB | OVR: 83
Another new and welcomed addition to the club, World Cup winner Mustafi is odds on to become an Arsenal favorite in the years to come. Young yet assure in defense, Mustafi's 70 rated pace, 83 defense and 79 physicality will put an end to your opponent's attacks in no time.
+ Strong defender
+ Good passer
+ Potential is high
31 | Germany | CB | OVR: 83
If you don't mind playing with a deeper defensive line, then the BFG (Big F***ing German) should be your first choice in defense. The man is a giant. Coming in at a staggering 6' 6", the BFG would be a formidable opponent in defense (88 def) as well as the odd dead ball situation. A leader of men, World Cup winner Mertesacker is the current club captain, but with his towering height comes a real dearth of speed (27 pac) which will catch you out if you're not careful.
+ Defensive force
+ Unstoppable in standing and sliding tackles
+ Headers are a cinch
- Damn slow footballer
25 | Brazil | CB | OVR: 79
Another fairly recent addition to Arsenal's defensive ranks, Gabriel is a tough-tackling wall of a defender who shares quite similar attributes to Mustafi. But with his 79 overall rating, he may need a fair bit of game time before becoming a regular fixture in your defense.
+ Solid back-up defender
+ Young so still much to learn
- Not good enough for first team
31 | France | RB | OVR: 80
Back from a loan spell at FC Girondins Bordeaux, Debuchy has pretty much lost his spot to Hector Bellerín, but is still a solid right back in his own... right. With solid 70s across the board and a penchant for roaming forward, Debuchy is an astute back up to your defense, even though he may not be the quickest out of the blocks.
+ Solid back up defender
- Lacks in pace, so not great for counters
21 | Spain | RB | OVR: 79
Now here is one footballer who literally has the world at his feet. Storming into the Arsenal team at the age of 19, Bellerín is easily one of, if not the, best attacking full-backs in the English League. With a blistering 95 rating for pace, not many wingers will be getting past this guy. And with solid 70s for dribbling (77) and defense (74) and still being young, he will literally only get better and better.
+ Quick as a bullet
+ Good dribbler and crosser
+ Can cut inside to devastating effect
- Still lacks a few qualities to make him a world class full back, but he's 21...
30 | Spain | LB | OVR: 81
One of the most underrated left backs in the English League, Monreal has been an inspiration since joining Arsenal. Though his pace can let him down against aggressively swift forwards and wingers, his composed demeanor, eye for a killer cross and solid stats in defense, passing, dribbling and physicality (81, 72, 75 & 73 respectively) make him a great full back for your team.
+ Dependable full back
+ Brilliant crosser
- Sometimes caught out in pace
26 | England | LB | OVR: 80
Injury has unfortunately slowed the progress of who could have been the greatest English left back since Ashley Cole, Gibbs is still an outrageously good full back if you fancy pace and the touch of a winger in defense.
+ Quick defender
+ Can play in midfield
+ Good on the cross
+ Great for cutting inside
- Injury prone
Ones To Watch
24 | England | RB | OVR: 73
+ Worthwhile back up for cup games
21 | England | CB | OVR: 67
+ High potential
- One for loan list
34 | Czech Republic | OVR: 88
One of the best goalkeepers in the game, with a rating of 90 in handling and high 80s in diving, reflexes and positioning, there should be no reason for leaving this man out of your squad.
+ One of the greatest goalkeepers ever.
28 | Colombia | OVR: 79
A great goalkeeper in his own right. If Čech wasn't already bossing the goal Ospina would definitely be holding up the back of the Arsenal ranks. With 80s in diving (83) and reflexes (84), and high 70s in the other important fields, you're pretty much sorted in goal.
+ Solid back up keeper
There we have it! A comprehensive look at FIFA 17's Arsenal team. Will you be taking them to glory?