Unai Emery has had the chance to utilise many youthful talents during his first six months at Arsenal.
Arsenal fans will have been disheartened when the club finished sixth in the Premier League last season, meaning it was another year of Europa League football.
But with a draw against BATE Borisov in the round of 32 in the Europa League and a chance of getting into next season’s Champions League if they go all the way, it could be an exciting end to the competition for the Gunners.
Perhaps Arsenal fans’ favourite part though is that the competition has given a platform for young starlets such as Emile Smith-Rowe and Joe Willock to perform and show Emery what they can do.
However, not all youngsters have had the successes’ they have had as of yet. Therefore, if this Arsenal DUO does not step up their game, they could be moved on in January…
Dejan Iliev is in his seventh season at Arsenal and stands as the fourth choice goalkeeper, lending a hand for the U23s on a regular basis, having just featured on the bench once this season in the senior side.
Now aged 23, Iliev will soon be moving on from his days as a youngster and his role in a title-winning U23 side could be used as vital experience for another one of Arsenal’s young ‘keepers to develop for the time being.
Unless, in the unlikely event he forces himself into Emery thinking for an FA Cup fixture, for the benefit of Iliev’s playing career, he could move on in the near future.
At Just 19, Eddie Nketiah certainly has time on his side and has proven himself at academy level, so there is no reason why Emery should not look to him as a possible striking option.
Despite clearly having the clinical nature and attributes of a modern day forward to make it to the top, in four appearances for the first-team, Nketiah is yet to score.
Of course, it will take him time to adjust and a goal will come eventually, however, as a youngster needing to make an impact to prove as to why they should be picked, Arsenal fans will be hoping that comes relatively soon. If he does not, a loan move could be on the cards for him to get first-team, regular game time and develop his trade up top.
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