Which of 6 young Gunners should Arsenal start in Turkey?

As you probably already know, Arsene Wenger has decided to leave a number of Arsenal first team players in London, some with niggling injury issues and some just to get a much needed rest before the festive fixtures begin in earnest. So although the manager still wants to win the game, he knows that it is unlikely to affect the group standings and so there are six academy players in the squad.

Mathieu Debuchy is back from injury and likely to start, as is Wojciech Szczesny, and Calum Chambers is set for an enforced rest against Newcastle at the weekend because of his sending off. But I’m sure that Wenger would like to let all the rest of his first team sit out the game and he must balance the desire to win against giving the young Gunners a great opportunity and some valuable experience.

The six players are; young striker Chuba Akpom who has been on fire this season and scored a hat-truck in the last under 21 game, Gedion Zelalem, the central midfielder who has been compared to Cesc Fabregas, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, the talented winger who was on the bench for the Stoke game, Stefan O’Connor the promising 17-year old centre back who recently signed his first professional contract, Alex Iwobi the Nigerian born winger and nephew of Jay-Jay Okocha and finally the young defensive midfielder Glen Kamara who also plays for the Finland national team at under 21 level.

I would love to see all of them get a go tonight, but that is unlikely. However, I don’t see why we should not start with a couple of them at least, perhaps Akpom up front, Kamara or Zelalem in midfield and maybe even O’Connor in defence.

Which if any would you start with Gooners?

Tags Akpom kamara Zelalem


  1. Budd says:

    None. Leave the bench to stretch their legs a bit and put the youth in the field if they are needed or the others are tired. Campbell, Podolski, Bellerin thrive to show what they are capable of and why should they start more games than before.

    1. KickAssFan says:

      OMG!!! Speaking of JAy Jay Okocha, that guy was a demon on the pitch!!! Damn it!!! Hell, he could dribble and pass!!!

  2. Skandalouz says:

    The only one I might’ve started is Gedion Zelalem. I feel that Campbell, Podolski and Sanogo need the game time more than the youngsters. I think that Akpom, Maitland-Niles and Zelalem will def make minutes tonight.

  3. ArnSam says:

    They should all be given time along side LP9 and Joel Campbell.
    We have enough of the other guys except may be AS17

  4. medvet says:

    holy crap… sanchez has a groin problem….. i hope the best…

    1. Invincibles49 says:

      That is how Wenger rolls man. He likes to push a player to him limit and then rest him through injury. Though i don’t think its serious. Sanchez is made of different material. So i am relaxed.

    2. juhislihis says:


      Where did you hear that?

      1. juhislihis says:

        Never mind, found it on our website.

  5. Trudeau says:

    This only shows how desperate I am but it’s Kamara for me. Any hint of a real DM enforcer on Arsenal’s books, no matter how green, would brighten my evening.

    1. Twig says:

      Even a DM that’ll get sent off in the 10th minute due to a reckless, over the top challenge?

    2. YingYang69 says:

      I feel the same. We need to see if we have better than Flamini. Would love to see the boy shine.

  6. fred cowardly says:

    I don’t understand Wenger

    1. KickAssFan says:

      No problem. He likes it that way.

  7. Bolly says:

    Wenger announced the team to play earlier this morning, its on Arse.com.
    Campbell Sonogo and Podolski are up front with Ox Flam and Ramsey in midfield.
    Bellerin, Mert Chambers and Debuchy at back and Schez in goal.
    By the way, we are at home to Newcastle, not away this weekend.

  8. Invincibles49 says:

    I would not like too many new faces. We have still have the remote chance to top the group. Poldi, Rosicky and Campbell NEED full 90 min.

    My team and formation:

    Podolski Sanogo
    Campbell Zalelam Rosicky
    Bellarin O’Connor Mertasacker Debuchy

    Looks weird but i think this is the best we can do given the team.

    80 min(no surprise here!) subs if needed : Ramsey(for Zalelam), Akpom(for Sanogo)

    1. Budd says:

      Rosicky is in London. You should take some interest in your club and inform accordingly.

      1. Budd says:

        Here, copy/paste for you from arsenal.com

        Team News
        Arsenal: Ozil (knee), Wilshere (ankle), Arteta (calf), Ospina (thigh), Walcott (groin), Monreal (ankle), Rosicky (thigh), Kosicelny (rested), Alexis (rested), Cazorla (rested), Gibbs (rested), Welbeck (rested)

        1. jensenvk says:

          We have so many injuries that we need to build a local hospital!

      2. KickAssFan says:

        Does Tomas Rosicky play for Arsenal?

  9. ryanh27 says:

    Diaby?? Still no sign of him since the southampton league cup game…

    1. Invincibles49 says:

      You will see a sign of him on a new contract paper.

      1. jensenvk says:

        Hahaha! I can image suddenly Diaby comes out of the shadows in January all buff and built like an ox. Like he has been on a steroid diet or something, making Yaya Toure and Wanayma scared sh!tless.

        Oh well the chances for that to happend are almost zero…..

  10. samuel@justarsenal.com says:

    Arsenal team: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Chambers, Bellerin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Flamini, Ramsey, Campbell, Sanogo, Podolski. Subs: Akpom, Zalalem, Kamara, O’Connor, Iwobi, Maitland-Niles. Courtesy of The Telegraph. I am a little bit at a lose as I cannot figure out who is the right back in that quartet defense line. Is it Bellerin?

    1. juhislihis says:

      I understood Bellerin will play LB and Debuchy RB..

  11. arsenalmaniac says:

    The only thing Lord wenger is good at is producing a make shift team…..bellerin @ LB ???

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      Bellerin is “two footed” So it shouldn’t be a problem for him…

  12. Mistamonn says:

    Please anyone know what’s up with Hayden? Is he injured or he’s been shipped out? I expected o see him on the starting line up.

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