Arsenal may need more of their young players to step up.
With Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta more or less admitting it could be a difficult summer for us in the transfer market without Champions League football, we find ourselves in a situation where we could definitely do with another Bukayo Saka or two breaking into the first-team in the near future.
Arteta has been quoted by Goal as saying he could have some big decisions to make this summer if we don’t have the financial boost of Champions League football, hinting that we may need to sell before we can buy, as has often been the case with us in the past.
Still, it need not be all doom and gloom, as I wrote earlier, results for Chelsea, Man Utd and Spurs this weekend mean our top four hopes are not dead yet, but even if they are, we have some promising young talents who can emulate the likes of Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah and step up to help us next season.
Not including William Saliba (who will effectively be a new signing), here are four youngsters who could save us a fortune in the transfer market…
Emile Smith Rowe
Currently on loan at Huddersfield Town, Smith Rowe is really impressing in the Championship to remind Arsenal fans that he shouldn’t be written off too soon. Big things were expected of the young attacking midfielder when he made such a bright start to life in the first-team last season, and though his development stalled a bit, there’s a very talented player in there somewhere and next season could be his time to feature for us on a more regular basis.
A slightly forgotten man at Arsenal, young Greek centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos has been unlucky with injuries in his Emirates Stadium career so far. Having made a strong breakthrough towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s final season, little has been seen of Mavropanos since, but he’s had a fine loan spell with Nurnberg this season and can at the very least provide us with some reliable cover in central defence next term.
A player who made three first-team appearances last season, there will surely be more to come from Zech Medley soon. The 19-year-old is a commanding 6 ft 5 in central defender who captained us at Under-18 level, and who now plays regular for the U23s. While he may still be some way away from playing for us regularly, we probably all thought the same about Bukayo Saka at the start of this season, and Medley seems like he could be one to make a similarly surprising impact as long as he gets a little luck along the way.
A 19-year-old forward who has impressed at youth level and on loan at Lincoln City this season, Tyreece John-Jules is another young player to look out for in the near future. If we do end up losing the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, that would likely mean more regular starts for the likes of Martinelli and Nketiah, and that could open up a squad player role to someone like John-Jules.