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Last year was Arsenal’s worst season since before Arsene Wenger was their manager, failing to make it into Europe. Even with that major negative some small things have proven to be a beacon of light for the Gunners
Mikel Arteta relied heavily last season on Arsenal’s youth in his first full season in charge, mainly due to the incompetence of some of the more experienced players. Although the club finished ninth in the league last season, they have managed to hold onto their best players while still having pull in the transfer market.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) August 8, 2021
Who are these young players?
Gunners fans will be happy to know that favourites Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli will remain at the club this season. They also got the signature of up-and-coming star Ben White from Brighton for an estimated £50 million.
With this new signing, Arsenal’s defence looks stronger and more youthful than it has been in years. The team could line out with Tierney, Gabriel, White and Bellerin in the defence with only one of those players over the age of 24.
Forward Martinelli may have struggled badly with injuries in his first two seasons in North London but is now fresh off an Olympic gold medal with Brazil.
Folarin Balugon and Smith-Rowe also had decent seasons for Arteta’s side with three goals and four assists between them in the Europa League.
After all of them, the youngster that stands above the rest is Bukayo Saka. The 19-year-old has shown his ability to play in defence, midfield and forwards for both club and country this year.
He played in four of England’s Euro 2020 matches on their run to the final. The Gunner’s only worry is that the young man’s confidence might be shot after he missed the fifth and final penalty that saw the Three Lions lose the final.
Bukayo Saka sees messages of support from the Arsenal fans after his penalty miss at EURO 2020.
What a touching moment. ❤️
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) August 4, 2021
The ones left behind
With every good young player at the club, another one slips through the cracks. After what was an astonishing loan move to Newcastle, Joe Willock does not seem to be getting a warm welcome back at Arsenal.
The club is days away from agreeing on terms with the Magpies to sell the player to restock funds to buy James Maddison.
Another player seemingly left at the wayside is French defender William Saliba, the 20-year-old has been sent on another loan move to Ligue 1 with the club showing no intention of ever playing him.
— Newcastle Fans TV (@NewcastleFansTV) August 5, 2021
The club still has some promising young prospects on their roster and will hope they bring glory back to the club this season. If Arteta shows more faith in the youth then maybe the team could make a stir in the top European places.
Their first challenge will be to overcome Brentford away from home at 16:00 on Friday 13th August.