Yes, we have every right to be excited by the prospect of Nicolas Pepe arriving at the Emirates for many reasons. He’s a genuine talent, blessed with pace, great technique, poise and attacking instincts and his arrival would indicate that the Kroenke’s are actually investing in Arsenal and showing genuine desire to achieve success.
— Arsenal Academy (@ArsenalAcademy) July 28, 2019
It also shows other premier league clubs that Arsenal can still compete and attract the brightest emerging talents, including William Saliba and that Emery will receive the necessary funds to rival Manchester City and Liverpool, although a decent challenge is possibly a season or so away.
However, Pepe’s arrival may threaten the careers of established players such as Iwobi, Mkhitaryan and Ozil with limited spaces available. Yet, it’s the younger players such as Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka, who could be frustrated the most.
The departure of Arsenal academy graduate winger Xavier Amaechi is the downside of modern football as Arsenal look to find the perfect blend for commercial and competitive success by investing in established stars.
The demands mean that youngsters will be introduced gradually but that won’t suit all the prospective talent emerging from Arsenal’s academy.
Highly-rated Arsenal & England youth winger Xavier Amaechi has joined Hamburg. 18yo rejected new contract + numerous suitors to sign 4yr deal today. Fee over €2.5m + performance-related add-ons. No buy-back but #AFC have sell-on clause. Will wear 17 & be a 1st team regular #HSV
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) July 27, 2019
18 year old Amaechi has just signed a four year deal with Hamburg, having given up on an Arsenal career that seemed to be completely out of his reach.
The club coined a respectable £2.25m for the player but that’s not really the point. Arsenal have to be careful not to open the floodgates by overlooking its homegrown talent.
Amaechi’s departure from Arsenal is a shame but it’s not totally unexpected, when a player feels they are ready but his club aren’t in agreement. One only has to look at the Hudson Odoi situation last season to see how a young head can be turned when all other avenues are closed.
The supporters want success but they wont get it exclusively with the academy recruits and I think it’s fair to say that only 20% of those considered as the finest of the academy will ever make the first team, perhaps even less. One doesn’t envy Emery because it’s a fine balancing act to accommodate all sides whilst under the immense pressure of a ensuring a guaranteed champions league slot.
You only have to look a season or two down the line to see that Nelson, Maitland Niles, Smith Rowe, Saka and Willock could also depart if they have not made the jump to the first team.
There will be natural wastage with older players such as Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and Ozil departing but the competition for a midfield positions alone is fierce at Arsenal.
Perhaps Dani Ceballos is a stop gap to see if one of Arsenal’s young guns can establish themselves and if that’s the case, one feels that Emery is in favour of Joe Willock at this moment in time.
As for Amaechi, will he be the talent that Arsenal helped to develop but who could only make his name elsewhere, similar to the club’s handling of Serge Gnabry.