As our Arsenal fans here in the Transfer Tavern start to get used to life after Wenger after what has been a tough couple of Premier League seasons for the Gunners.
Out of the Champions League for the second successive season, our regulars knew that the Gunners had to look to the Europa League as their only hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, much like Man United did the season before. They failed in their attempt to win a European trophy for Wenger and now face Europa League football once again
Sitting fairly comfortably in sixth in the Premier League with many of the Gunner fans feeling a tad deflated, now is the time for Ivan Gazidis to start planning for a revamped new life at the Emirates under Unai Emery.
Although Arsenal have wilted in recent times, the opportunity to involve some youngsters into the plan for next season by blooding some of their academy players in the pre-season would be a smart move, and our bar staff are in full agreement. Indeed Emery has some exciting prospects at hand and our landlord has picked TWO of the most exciting Arsenal youth players that should be promoted…
OUR VERDICT – Joe Willock & Eddie Nketiah
Joe Willock had been given some chances in Arsenal’s cup competitions last season. A late substitute against Doncaster Rovers in the Carabao Cup third round, Willock would go on to start in the group game against BATE Borisov in the Europa League just a week later.
However, the 18-year-old struggled on his last start, in the 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.
In the reserves, Willock has been a creative spark for the Arsenal U23’s in the Premier League 2, assisting five goals in 11 games including a hat-trick of assists back in February. He’s a player who surely has the talent and already had a taste of first-team action, which he will be wanting more of, that’s for sure.
Another young member of the Arsenal squad to have gained some experience in the cup competitions, Nketiah quickly won the affection of the Gooner fans after scoring both goals in a 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Norwich City. However, in the Premier League, he hasn’t fared so well, managing just seven minutes as a late sub against Brighton.
This comes despite the youngster’s impressive record in the Premier League 2 this season, scoring 10 goals and recording two assists in 12 games.
Indeed, the teenager could be given more time from the bench which, in the past, he has shown he can make the most of.
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