In a mixed year for Arsenal, the highlight of the year has really been the progression of their youngsters.
Mikel Arteta has clearly put his faith into young players this season, relying on academy products like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe more than ever. Arteta has also gotten production out of young acquisitions like Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
It has been impressive to see such a young team do well in the league this season. So it begs the question when it comes to Arsenal’s youngsters. Do Arsenal have the best crop of youngsters in the league?
The Academy Boys
Over the last few years, Arsenal’s academy has seen young players like Donyell Malen, Wojciech Szczesny and Joe Willock leave the club and have success elsewhere. But Arsenal seem to have finally put their faith into their academy. Bukayo Saka made his Arsenal debut in November of 2018, before scoring his first premier league goal on January 1st of the next year, becoming the first player born in the 21st century to play in a Premier League game.
Saka seems like the real deal. He has already made his England debut, scoring four times for England in the 14 matches he has appeared in since October 2020. Saka was subbed on during the Euros final. Despite having his penalty saved, to play such a crucial role in an international final at the age of just 19, Saka has a promising future ahead of him.
But this season, we have seen Emile Smith Rowe emerge as possibly a better player than Saka. Smith Rowe had a mixed 2020-21 season, being constantly in and out of the squad.
After a summer full of transfer speculation, Smith Rowe was handed the number 10 shirt for 2021-22. This season, Smith Rowe has established his place in the Arsenal team, having seven goals and assists in just over 1100 league minutes.
The two academy products are incredible prospects, Arsenal fans should be excited about their potential (almost as exciting as the offers that you don’t want to miss out on at novibet.ie
This summer, Arsenal’s spending was dominated by planning for the future, with all of their summer transfers being players 23 or younger. After a slow start, these transfers are already providing excellent value. In defence, Nuno Tavares and Takehiro Tomiyasu have solidified an Arsenal defence that has nine clean sheets already this season. Tomiyasu looks particularly impressive, being able to shut down opposing wingers.
Two of the bigger spendings of Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White are still bedding into the team, but Ramsdale particularly has been excellent this season. These summer signings are producing an exciting future for Arsenal.
While recent results may not have been to the standard that Arsenal are looking for, this season has to be looked at as much more than results. The team is the youngest in the Premier League. They are developing players throughout the team.
So, while this season may produce difficulties, it is a season of change, that will produce an exciting squad in the next few years.