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Cottrell, Azeez and Balogun: Is Arteta About to Unleash The Kids in the Europa League

Molde Arsenal team news and lineup

Team lineup against Molde? Arsenal have an abundance of academy riches at their disposal, but it’s been a slow process integrating them into the first team with mixed results.

Bukayo Saka remains the stand out player with a string of excellent and exciting performances that has seen him break into a youthful looking England side.

Now it appears that Mikel Arteta is looking to his young players in the Europa league group stages starting tonight against Molde, in a game that could potentially lead to regular inclusion in the first team.

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Miguel Azeez, Emile Smith Rowe, Folarin Balogun and Ben Cottrell have been included in the squad and it will be interesting to see if the Spanish boss gives all four a start.

As Arsenal fans ponder the clubs current plight, languishing 7 points behind their local rivals, this move will at least give them some much needed pleasure.

All four are capable of putting on a show in their respective positions and here at AD we’ve been pushing for a start for Balogun and Azeez.

Smith Rowe has been the subject of injuries in recent seasons but he is another creative midfielder that will take Arsenal forward, an area where Arteta’s side look short.

Ben Cottrell (19) is an extremely talented midfielder who featured in Arsenal’s pre season and it’s thought that he’s not far away from making the transition to the senior squad.

However it’s sadly doubtful that all four will find their way onto the team sheet against Molde on Thursday.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 27: (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

As Arteta looks for answers within his club to stop Arsenal’s season from stagnating, he is at least considering all available options.

Folarin Balogun is due for discussions on his future at the club, something AD commented on months ago and the exciting and explosive striker has the potential to threaten Lacazette and Nketiah.

He may have a rival in that aim with Swede, Nikolai Moller (18) currently wowing the likes of Steve Bould and Per Mertesacker but Balogun is equally as impressive with a stunning goal scoring record for Arsenal’s under 18’s title-winning season, appearing on 18 occasions and scoring an unbelievable 25 goals.

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Rumours were rife that the American wanted to leave but Mikel Arteta has personally interceded and it now appears that Balogun will stay despite interest from clubs in this country and abroad.

Arsenal fans want to see some ambition from the club and manager to end a dreadful period at the club which has seen them make their worst start to a campaign for 35 years.

The introduction of this type of emerging talent may go some way to appeasing disappointed supporters who have had to endure a number of mediocre performances in the premier league.

These opportunities need to be taken and the Arsenal midfield in particular is crying out for some imaginative skill with the club contemplating their potential targets for January.

I’m hoping that Azeez will make that transition and show Arteta that he already has everything he needs at the Emirates starting with a mesmerising performance tonight against Molde.

The boss just needs to be bold, throw caution to the wind and let the players perform to their strengths.

Find the latest news on Arsenal academy right here at AD

Soham De
Writer who specializes in overcoming the yearly heartbreak of being an Arsenal supporter. Tries to make life better by venting out thoughts, writings about anything and everythings thats exciting about Arsenal FC. Always up for debates and discussions but only about Arsenal

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