Arsenal Youngsters Who Could Make The Step Up This Season

As we all know, Arsene Wenger loves to unearth gems from around the world and they are usually young. His extensive scouting network has allowed him to bring in talent from South America, North America, Asia, Africa and of course Europe. Perhaps the more favourable destination for his scouts is sunny Spain – in a certain Catalonia area where a certain Spanish team play their football, to be more precise. Anyway, Wenger is very good at buying young talent and selling them for large fees in the future. Henry, Fabregas, Adebayor, Nasri etc… You get the picture. In this piece I will evaluate who in the Arsenal youth set up will possibly make the step up this season.

Arsenal’s pre season tour has been quite successful, suffering just one defeat and one draw. Pre season is a chance for players to regain fitness and their touch but it’s also a chance for clubs to showcase some of their younger talent. Wenger showed no hesitation in that respect.

Gedion Zelalem, Chuba Akpom and Serge Gnabry were the stand out young performers. Especially 16-year-old Gedion Zelalem, who really caught the eye. He was born in Ethiopia to German parents but has lived most of his life in America, the country in which he was spotted. What has stunned most fans is his extreme confidence and calmness on the ball which has allowed him to execute passes up their with some of the best I’ve seen from someone of his age. Very Cesc Fabregas-like, the player who he has drawn comparisons from. With Arsenal’s thin squad at the moment and the players continued existence in the first team squad could mean that he has some first team football on the agenda this season.

Next on the list are Chuba Akpom and Serge Gnabry who both gave Arsenal fans to think about because, unlike Zelalem, Akpom and Gnabry look up to the challenge of first team football physically but also technically as well. Both are well stacked up top which makes them almost look like they should be first teamers already. With the lack of depth in the striking department, Akpom could be made third choice behind the two Frenchman Yaya Sanogo and Olivier Giroud although Theo Walcott will fancy his chances ahead of both Frenchman anyway. For Gnabry, he has to compete with Walcott, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and perhaps Santi Cazorla. The young German will fancy his chances at getting some form of call up whether it’s just in the Capital One or FA Cup.

In terms of other talent, Thomas Eisfeld, Kris Olsson, Hector Bellerin, Damien Martinez and Isaac Hayden will be hopeful of opportunities although a couple on that list could be set for a loan move.

Wenger’s apparent motto is ‘If you’re good enough, you’re old enough’. A few players I’ve mentioned will be banking on that phrase.



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