Arsenal are gearing up for our first Champions League fixture on September 16th against Dinamo Zagreb and our final 32 player squad has now been announced. This total is the normal 25-man squad plus 7 “B-List” youngsters which can be made up of youngsters that have been at the club for at least 2 years.
The 17 year-old Jeff Reine-Adelaide is thought to be the biggest surprise inclusion in the main squad (well, according to Sky anyway) but for me the biggest shock was seeing Joel Campbell on the list. The Costa Rican seemed to be trying hard to get Wenger to let him leave this summer, but Le Prof is forcing him to honour his contract and I thought he would be frozen out for a while…
Reine-Adelaide’s inclusion has been balanced by having Hector Bellerin in the B-List because he is still under 21, and the other youngsters are: Tafari Moore, Stefan O’Connor, Deyan Iliev, Alex Iwobi, Glen Kamara and Chris Willock.
You may think that these players have no chance of playing, but if Bayern Munich and Arsenal pull away into a dominating position in the Group, then the last two fixtures against Olympiakos and Zagreb again may give Wenger a chance to experiment with the fringe players.
Arsenal Champions League squad:
Goalkeepers: Ospina, Cech, Macey.
Defenders: Debuchy, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Chambers.
Midfielders: Rosicky, Arteta, Wilshere, Özil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Flamini, Coquelin, Reine-Adelaide.
Forwards: Giroud, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez, Welbeck, Campbell.
All in all, with Bellerin included, that looks like a very strong squad that should have no problem making the last 16….