Pundit insists Arsenal has cleared the way for their young players to shine this season

Noel Whelan believes Arsenal’s decision not to bolster their squad in the January transfer window has opened the door for more youngsters at the club to break into the team.

Mikel Arteta’s side has been looking to break back inside the top four, and they spent some weeks there in the first half of the season.

Whether they end the campaign with Champions League football would depend on how they perform in this second half.

If they had signed some new players, it probably would have made it easier to achieve a top-four finish.

However, former Leeds United man, Whelan believes the decision not to bring in reinforcements is an opportunity for Arteta to blood more youngsters before the end of this season.

He tells Football Insider: “They’ve got a world-class youth set-up. We’ve seen some of the players come through and burst onto the scene in recent years.

“Arteta is putting his stamp on this side. He’s laying down a marker and he’s standing strongly by his stance. I love this about Arteta.

“There’s a real pathway between now and the end of the season for these young players to come through and really make a name for themselves.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Grooming youngsters is one thing we have a reputation for and several other exciting players are coming through at the club right now.

Hopefully, most of our experienced first-teamers will remain fit and firing for the rest of the season.

However, if we suffer an injury crisis, that could present an opportunity for one of the budding players at the club’s academy to make a name for himself.

Tags noel whelan


  1. Mikel Arteta was not ready for PL football management when Arsenal apponted him. Like Frank Lampard who had one season with Derby Arteta had no PL managerial experience like Lampard ex player emotional appointment. Artetas 3 years at Man City the worlds best team was the worst preparation he could of had for PL management. Arteta was essentially the water boy for superstars. Arteta arrived at Arsenal utterly unprepared for managing a bloated squad of over paid underperformers followed by an entitled fan base living off past glories. 8th place saved by an FA Cup win at the back end of the first covid season papered over the cracks. The second season was fraught with problems poor results players down tooling being beaten by the former manager in EL semi final. and another 8th place out of Europe first time in 25 years. Logically Arteta should have been sacked. Miraculously Kroenke gave Arteta another chance and in a low spending covid summer Arteta got 150 mill to kick start the new “process” bulding a young high resale value team. Then beset by injuries and Covid Arsenal went 0-3 and Arteta and Arsenal were on the brink. Arteta embarked on a slash and burn policy. Only the best would do and only those who would submit to Artetas total control would survive. Leno Cedric Bellerin Chambers Niles Holding Mari Kolasinac Elneny Pepe Nketiah Balogun Martinelli were thrown on the scrap heap. Even Lokonga and Tavares were sidelined. 15 players deemd surplus. Arteta now only really trusted 12 players although through injuries and suspensions eventually Tavares and Martineli would be brought in while Lokonga remains on trust. Mavropanos Torreira are deemed not good enough while Guendouzie is too outspoken.
    Saliba remains a doubt because the total control Manager Arteta still sees Saliba a high risk option. Arteta though has learned a great deal from this on the job apprenticeship he should really have got elsewhere. So he is now a much more experienced and hardened manager. If he gets top 6 by May he should be given another season. Another 7- 9 players will leave and another 6-7 brought in. Top 4 should be the goal next season. In a couple of years Artea will mature and he will handle Guendouzie Saliba Aubameyang Ozil issues much better. We have invested too much in Artetas evolution as a manger to let him go and win trophies with another club. With that in mind I would give Arteta an extension to the end of the 2024-2025 season.

    1. fairfan, I am firmly of the opinion that what you propose will happen very soon now. And so it should too!
      I like that you too ignore the many foolish doommongers on this site who I look forward to seeing with eggy faces before long.
      They will go very quiet when that happens, for sure.

      PS, I believe his extension will be for another two or even three years extra. Two at least, is IMO a near certainty.

  2. One of the most difficult things in the PL,trying to blood young players in while trying to get results.i’m all for giving youth a chance but not right now, when we’re fighting for top 4.

  3. I have watched our young stars over a long period, and I would note that many have recently gone off the boil.

    Playing Devil’s advocate…..

    We all hope that Saka, Martinelli and ESR get back on track and return to their pre-January form. We hope Pepe can find his form too.

    But what if they don’t. Where are we then???

    Arteta and Edu have placed a lot faith in these players so, what happens if our youngsters struggle. Is the PROCESS over, or just the Arteta version??

  4. We might unearth the next ESR / Saka or worst we might end up being 8th. With the bunch of nobodies he loaned out, we were destined for 6/7th with the added distractions of inflated egos to handle. Most of his targets were not being released by their clubs, so rather than going into panic mode and hiring other club’s deadwood/castoffs and further messing up our precious funds, sticking to the core team with reserves on the fringes, we are good to launch our push for the top 6.

  5. All said and done, why we did not go for Bruno Guimaraes is mysterious. He was willing and ready to come and finally joined Newcastle because reportedly there was no bid from Arsenal. Completely relying on youngsters is a bit risky.

  6. What so many people miss is the fact that Arteta is growing in the job as time passes by and so are the young players. With both Manager and players gaining more experience there will emerge a strong team capable of standing up to the best. Let’s forget the prejudices of some commentators and rally behind our team which will get even better.

  7. Despite the slim squad we have, I believe we can challenge for a spot in Europe,

    Just maybe, Miguel Azeez would show class, I really can’t see Patino for now as he’s not physically built to combat now,

    As for Guimaeres, if we had thought he was the best, I’m sure we would have signed him.

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