Arsenal have had lots of talented youngsters coming through the Hale End Academy, and the whole point of staying with us is because Arsene wenger had a big reputation for blooding youngsters in the first team, usually via playing in the League Cup.
But now there seem to be more and more highly-rated youngster’s moving away from the Gunners in search of opportunities elsewhere. Famously in January Marcus McGuane even joined Barcelona rather than stay with us, and he said afterwards: “I was getting frustrated by a lack of opportunities. It is good to train but I did not want my performance to plateau and stay at the same level. This step made sense. There’s no grudge but I felt the best thing was to find another way. If you want to be at a place to develop and get first-team football, maybe you have to look elsewhere than Arsenal.”
Last summer, there was also a mass exodus of promising youngsters, Chris Willock was sold to Benfica, Kaylen Hinds went to Wolfsburg for £2m, Donyel Mallen and Dan Crowley moved to Holland in search of first team football, and the latest one of our most promising players, Reiss Nelson, is apparently being courted by Real Madrid and PSG.
The 18 year Nelson was promoted to the first team this season, but has only made 5 starts in the Europa League and League Cup early rounds but despite impressing everyone he has hardly been given his fair share of opportunities. He has only 15 months left on his contract and like McGuane he may have already decided to move on this summer rather than stagnate on the Arsenal bench. And I am sure he will not be the only one….