Much has been made of the talent and potential of Arsenal’s youngsters and although it doesn’t appear to be too much of a leap from the reserves or the academy to the first team, the final push can sometimes prove to be the most difficult, so which young players are likely to feature for Mikel Arteta’s gunners in the future.
Emile Rowe Smith:
Highly fancied by Arsenal’s insiders and one of Arsenal’s youngsters featuring in the pre-season tour. Sustained an injury to his Adductor muscles in April and didn’t feature regularly for Unai Emery. Since then, he appears to have gone off the boil and will benefit from a loan deal to gather experience and game time.
Ainsley Maitland Niles:
Has been a fairly regular feature for Arsenal under Unai Emery as a replacement for Hector Bellerin. Not a natural right-back and was occasionally taken to school by teams with pace. When given a chance in his preferred midfield role, he failed to own that position and it appears that Emery and now Arteta prefer Willock ahead of him.
The youngster has made an impression but has failed to find consistency. He’s been used as a left-back recently and has still made a decent contribution to the team but his skills are best employed further up the pitch. Saka shows absolutely no fear and refuses to be intimidated by big clubs, stadiums, reputations and more established players but needs another year.
One the most highly regarded among Arsenal’s youngsters who has developed well under Unai Emery but he sometimes fades in a game, something Arteta needs to monitor and solve. It’s all about confidence, making the right decisions and executing the right passes. He’s not there yet, but he could be as important as David Rocastle once was to the gunners.
There are signs that Nelson is coming in to his own. His ability and desire to get at the opposition will be crucial in the coming years and if he adds a bit of muscle into his frame, he will be quite unstoppable. Was probably one of the better players against Leeds in the first 45 and added a goal in the second. Needs to believe to achieve.
Much has been made about the young striker who just needs a chance and the right supply. There’s no doubt that he’ll get goals but he needs slightly more experience and composure at the highest level. He’s obviously not going to displace Aubameyang or Lacazette in the first team, but he will need to take his chances as a sub when he gets them just to remind Arteta what he has.
This young lad has been praised by Jurgen Klopp and that’s not a bad place to get recognition from so early in your career. Fans are unbelievably excited by this player who has everything a striker could need.
He can come in off the flank or play up the middle. He has vision, balance and pace and will threaten any defence on any stage with his predatory skill, which is staggering at his age (18).
Martinelli has an abundance of confidence without being arrogant and his work rate is an example to younger and older professionals alike. The Brazilian is a star in the making with a bright future ahead of him, although it’s going to be hard to keep him out of the squad.