Which Arsenal youngsters could step up to cover our injuries this season?

This season has had ups and downs. Arsenal’s 22-game unbeaten run gave us a sense of optimism within the club. But after the loss to Southampton, our great form wasn’t the most consistent, and we found ourselves lacking certain types of players to reach that type of form again.

We’ve been ravished by injuries this season, and they’ve affected us clearly. The injury of Rob Holding found us short in defence, the injury of Danny Welbeck found us short in strikers, and finally, and the most recent, Hector Bellerin, who will be another huge miss, found us short again in right backs.

It’s been forced down our throats all month that we’re not buying anyone this window, but could temporary replacements for our injury crisis be right in front of our eyes in our own club?

We have a large selection of squad players, and youngsters who are looking to break into the team this season. But instead of just playing them in cup games, why not give them a shot in the first team, while we have a lot of players out?

Konstantinos Mavropanos (who has recently just returned from injury) could be an important squad player, as Laurent Koscielny, who had a vintage performance on Saturday, is not the most reliable defender anymore in my opinion, especially with his age, and him JUST coming back from a 9-month injury.

Mavropanos had the chance to play some Premier League games last season, and in the short time he was playing, I saw very bright glimpses of what could be an excellent centre back for the future. I think if Emery starts playing him this season, it’ll do him a whole world of good, and we may even see that he can fill the spot until Rob Holding recovers from his injury. I’m not exactly saying; throw him into our FA Cup match against Manchester United on Friday, but maybe he can get some time in the Europa League first, and see how he does, then Emery can decide if he’s ready for Premier League games or not, but in my opinion I think he can really be a good contributor to our back line, which looks pretty slim at the moment.

Another player that I think can help us temporarily through these injuries is, Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Maitland-Niles has already been a frequently used player this season, but more rather in Cup games than League games. With the recent news of Hector Bellerin, it’s clear we’re in a right back dilemma once again. Stephan Litchsteiner’s time at the club, has been spent filling in the position for the injured Hector Bellerin, but this time it’ll be Litchsteiner who will be our right back for the rest of the season.

After a spell of below par performances by Litchsteiner, it was a gasp of fresh air when Bellerin retuned from his hamstring injury. I’m not saying Litchsteiner is a poor player, but it’s the fact that he’s clearly lost pace with his age, and just seems like he doesn’t even know where he’s passing at times makes me want to see Ainsley Maitland-Niles jump into the right back spot. Ainsley is not originally a right back, but his ability to adapt to different positions give me no worry that he can be our right back for the rest of the season. We saw last year, and even a little this year, that he’s pretty good at the right back position. I think he’s a player that has shown this season that he’s more than ready to play regularly, and we can certainly do with some pace down that right flank.

This season seems to be one of horrible news. Whether you want to mention the injures or the transfer policy, it seems like all the odds have been stacked against us to be a great team this season. We have a lot of great youngsters in our squad, and I think some of them can help us with success this year.

Who else do you think could step up this season?

– Nick


  1. Declan says:

    Obviously Mavrapanos at centre half and I also rate Jordi Osei-Tutu at right back. I was impressed with him when he played in the first team last year.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Maybe Willock would get more chances because Ramsey is leaving, Ozil might leave too and Suarez deal seems off

    1. Declan says:

      Barca will come crawling back on the last day to accept our terms instead of theirs.

  3. Break-on-through says:

    Hopefully Mavropanos can make a similar impact like Holding and Guendouzi have made. Smith R, I’d expect him to get a crack, if we do let Ramsey leave. Bielik had a very good game for Charlton according to Arsenal FC site. We’re looking to bring in maybe two players though, at least one will arrive I’d imagine.

    I have a feeling that, say, we got Rodriquez, I reckon Emery might well get the best out of the player. Is there any truth to it though, no way to tell.

  4. SAGooner says:

    What about Carl Jenkinson – he’s really not that bad and has quite a bit of experience in the senior team?

  5. Things are changing says:

    I regret not having Chambers. I wonder if it is worth it to pay to get him back. He can fill in a CD and for Fulham, he is doing a great job as DM. Same for Nelson. Would it have been so bad to play him on the right wing once Miki got injured?

    I think we should not enter into any none-recallable loan agreements for players of ours that are practically first-team level (like Chambers and Nelson).

  6. Gworm says:

    I can’t understand the situation with Carl Jenkinson. He doesn’t seem to be getting any game time even when we’re so short of defensive options. If he’s really so far down the pecking order he needs to be sold.

  7. Grandad says:

    Bring in any of the youngsters mentioned but no Lichsteiner please!

  8. jon fox says:

    Amazed that no one has so far even mentioned the obvious choice of our real youngsters who is not ALREADY around the regular team, as ASM-N already is. That is clearly Smith-Rowe! To me , along with NELSON too but criminally, not until next season, E S-R is the outstanding candidate of the true fringe players. Nketiah is still miles from being even close, in the Prem, IMO. Guendouzi is already virtually a regular as well and will clearly soon be a real star player. He was a superb buy at his tender age of 19(then only 18, I believe). Holding too was already a regular. Lots of youngsters for the future and also Mavrop who I really think will be a big player. But for now, right now, only Smith-Rowe is fit, available and of the quality(excluding the ones above). Willock I rate too but he still needs to fill out his frame, as weediness is a handicap in the Prem. THINK WALCOTT, IF YOU DOUBT ME!

    1. Midkemma says:

      BOT said ESR over 5 hours earlier than your post.

      Someone should also tell Pep that the weedy Fernandinho is playing with a handicap… C’mon, the guy looks weaker than Willock yet proven that he is a top player in a physical role, size isn’t everything… Theo is one man and you shouldn’t judge all players with a slighter frame the same.

      1. jon fox says:

        You are wrong about Fernandinho. He is not at all weedy. LEANNESS IS NOT WEEDINESS. REAL SKINNY AND LACK OF FIGHT ARE. And I missed the ONE post mentioning E S-R. You missed about a hundred of mine slating Gazidis, when you lied about me not mentioning him with blame but only Wenger. Including one made today on a recent thread where I mention you by name, if you care you look.

        1. Midkemma says:

          Which article?

          “fill out his frame”
          One could say the same about Fernandinho.

          I like how you change your reality to make out other people are always wrong and your capital yelling is enlightening people.

          Willock shown plenty of fight last time out.

          So what is the new parameter to define weediness? You do this BS all the time Jon. like about accusing me of calling you a liar, you change the rules to make out you are right, footballs to that.

          You said Willock needs to fill out his frame.
          I highlight a top player who also has a slender frame and you suddenly say it is not only being skinny but lacking fight.

          You accuse me of lying when I talk about a single post of yours but you then bring in your life history, which includes a moan about Gazidis and I am the liar.

          Talk about childish. When you going to act your age? Or at least half of it?

        2. Midkemma says:

          Well Jon?
          What is your new change on weedieness?

          Willock is skinny and you said fill out his frame, I highlight a top player who is also skinny and then you added in the fight. Willock shown fight in his last game, like other top players, what’s the new criteria that you have thought up?


          Come on, tell us all the new revision to Jons definition of weedy, I swear you are making this sht up as you go.

  9. Kelleson says:

    There are alot of talented young players who could replace Ramsey in the junior team, the most important signing needed should be natural winger with pace and good dribbling skills. Nile could also cover for Belerin

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