‘We want to give them opportunities’ – Arteta urges his youngsters to be ready

Mikel Arteta insists that he wants to give his younger players the opportunity to play, and has told his extender Arsenal to be ready when he calls on them.

The Gunners squad has been stripped down in recent weeks with both Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey having joined Takehiro Tomiyasu on the injured list, with both of our latest absentees potentially missing the remainder of the season.

With that in mind, we could well have to call on players who have limited first-team experience, and Arteta has confirmed that he is keen to continue the club’s hard work in promoting from youth.

“It is part of the project and it is part of our DNA,” he told Arsenal Media in his pre-match press conference.

“Our academy players have to have opportunities in this club and we want to give them opportunities. But we have to give them when they are ready. We will decide, depending on the game, whether or not they are ready to take that next step.

“When I see them closer I will tell you if they are ready!”

The boss has been able to rely on the same core of 12 or 13 players over the past few weeks, but with Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey joining Takehiro Tomiyasu in the treatment room, he will now be turning to those who haven’t had as much game time during the second half of the season

“That is the challenge,” he said. “That is why you have to prepare really well, every single day. So when you have the opportunity to step up, you are ready. If you don’t then when you have the opportunity you are not going to take it.

“That is what we encourage. We try to ask the players all the time to be at their best in training so the minute we need them, they are ready to give everything to the team.”

Tags Mikel Arteta youth


  1. See this is all starting to go all the wrong way as Emery did, giving youngsters time on the ball during big games, while the players who were 1st team and should be in the team was on the bench ,we didn’t know our 1st team as it got changed that much untill recently we have had things under control, of course youth is important but only if there seriously earning that spot and that will be judged on artetas choices if he does this, could work or could do a usual and mess things up yet again……

  2. Football 101 play your best team week in week out and the same 11 1st team if fit come on it’s not hard seriously, look at Chelsea ,man city same team same players same out come, were not them ….

  3. Arteta might be building a young team but that doesn’t mean he’s giving our academic players chances. How many of them have been promoted or giving enough chances. I am not talking about those who called upon to fill the bench while the first team are absent. Iwobi, Niles, nelson, Saka, willock all did played regularly under emery with Esr to some extent. And you can imagine the loads of players we have then but they still had their chances. We have less squad now and you hardly see them being use. Although having less competition is a disadvantages here but then most of the names mentioned above usually play in the league. Now our most important attacking players in the team are the players initated by Emery. Saka, martinelli, and Esr.

  4. I dont think Arteta has much choice here. We have to play Patino, Swanson, Hutchinson and Flores, either one of them or all of them at some point in the season. The injuries to key players will force Arteta to dip into the Academy players as back ups. That said, I hope the lads are ready to play and push Arsenal to the top 4.

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