With Arsenal having let 5 first-team gamers depart in January both on mortgage or without cost, and bringing no one in to switch them, Mikel Arteta’s squad depth for the remainder of the season appears just a little skinny.
The Gunners opted to mortgage out defenders Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Roma) and Pablo Mari (Udinese), whereas cancelling the contracts of left-back Sead Kolasinac (Marseille), the versatile Calum Chambers (Aston Villa) and, sensationally, former captain and star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Barcelona).
It was a transfer designed to avoid wasting the membership cash forward of what is anticipated to be a busy summer time switch window, nevertheless it leaves Arsenal with solely three senior centre-backs (Ben White, Gabriel, Rob Holding) and two central strikers whose contracts expire in the summertime (Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah).
Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny’s participation within the Africa Cup of Nations in January, accidents and a COVID-19 outbreak additionally left the facet quick in midfield, with Arsenal dropping three, drawing two and scoring only a single purpose of their 5 video games throughout that month.
With no new arrivals to rely on, Arsenal’s youth groups could discover themselves the topic of curiosity if there are extra gaps to fill within the coming months. The Gunners are nicely stocked in vast attacking areas, so we’ve got neglected the U23s’ spectacular duo of Salah-Eddine Oulad M’hand and Omari Hutchinson, however listed here are another gamers who may get a call-up to the senior squad this season.
Arsenal signed the centre-forward final summer time after he turned down an expert contract at Fulham. A extremely productive purpose scorer at academy degree, Biereth netted 21 targets and offered 21 assists within the 2020-21 Underneath-18 Premier League for Fulham earlier than shifting to the Emirates.
The Denmark U19 worldwide made an early mark at his new membership with a hat trick in September’s 6-1 away thrashing of Chelsea in Premier League 2. Since then he is additionally made a number of promising outings within the EFL Trophy — getting on the scoresheet once more towards Chelsea in a 4-1 win — and has seven targets and three assists from 16 video games up to now.
In a footballing scene dominated by neat, technical forwards that just like the ball performed in to their ft, Bierath is one thing of a refreshing throwback. As a powerful and aggressive centre-forward, who stands at 6-foot-1, he makes his presence felt when selecting duels with opposing centre-backs. His stability and tempo additionally make him able to exploiting area in vast areas, whereas he’s glad to chase balls performed in behind the defence. For all his bodily attributes, the 19-year-old additionally has a well-developed positional sense — typically discovering room for a well-placed end.
Bierath might want to work on some sloppiness in his link-up sport and discover the continuity to make an impression in additional senior video games, however he may discover himself given the possibility to shine.
Having beforehand represented Netherlands U18, the versatile defender was known as as much as the Tunisia squad for this yr’s Africa Cup of Nations and registered two quick substitute appearances within the group levels. Rekik has had a quite eventful youth profession, having already performed for giant golf equipment akin to Feyenoord, PSV, Manchester City, Olympique Marseille and Hertha Berlin, earlier than he moved to Arsenal in January 2021.
It is easy to see what made academy scouts at such high golf equipment take word: he is exceptionally snug in possession and performs with an authority and confidence normally reserved for extra senior defenders. Being moderately fast and cell too, Rekik is great at anticipating the opponent’s build-up, typically stepping out of the defensive unit to compete for free balls increased up the pitch.
Whereas his type can generally come throughout as nonchalant, his intelligence is excessive and he is aware of when to play with much less threat, whereas he has the imaginative and prescient to see his teammates’ actions up entrance to make an early attacking go. These attributes have already seen him adapt to a defensive midfield function and, although his mortgage transfer to Stoke Metropolis final month collapsed, as a senior worldwide he needs to be aiming for normal first-team soccer subsequent season.
A inventive, spontaneous participant whose “capoeira-style” goal celebration is an attraction in itself, Flores is supremely gifted technically and presumably the Arsenal youth prospect that the membership’s supporters are most desperate to see. Together with his fast turns, mesmerising dribbling abilities and the ball glued to his ft, he can appear to maneuver like star playmakers from historical past akin to Pablo Aimar and Andres D’Alessandro.
Although born in Canada and in possession of a British passport, the 18-year-old has represented his father’s nation of Mexico and was the star of the present as Mexico U20s gained the inaugural 2021 Revelations Cup in November. Flores was handed his first senior cap for Mexico in a pleasant towards Chile in December, however has but to play a aggressive sport so his worldwide future continues to be up for grabs if he could be persuaded to change allegiances.
His father Ruben was an expert footballer in Mexico, and later in Canada, earlier than shifting into teaching and Flores has an actual soccer household, along with his sisters Tatiana and Silvana taking part in for Spurs and Chelsea respectively.
Whether or not lining up in a central place or vast on both facet, the jury continues to be out on what Flores’ greatest place is. He’s desperate to get entangled and his acceleration with the ball typically places his opponents on the again foot or attracts fouls. Though naturally right-footed, he strikes the ball nicely along with his weaker left foot too.
The England U19 worldwide has already had his baptism of fireplace within the first staff, having scored from off the bench within the 5-1 rout of Sunderland within the EFL Cup quarterfinals earlier than getting a begin within the FA Cup third spherical defeat at Nottingham Forest final month.
As a deep-lying playmaker, the Luton City product involves life when he can get quite a lot of the ball and is allowed to dictate proceedings with the sport in entrance of him. Although he is been in contrast in type to Cesc Fabregas, there’s additionally a little bit of Luka Modric in the way in which he can spray crisp 30 or 40-yard diagonals throughout the pitch and the way he evades challenges by means of sharp twists and turns.
With an exquisite contact and appreciation of area, added to his composure, imaginative and prescient, intelligence and high quality on the ball, Patino has each likelihood of getting a future within the Premier League when he matures absolutely.
Azeez was recalled by Arsenal in January following a mortgage spell at Portsmouth, having struggled for enjoying time on the League One facet. The midfielder has already performed for the primary staff, making his debut towards Dundalk FC within the 2020 Europa League, and has caught the attention along with his excellent dynamism from central areas.
Although at present extra of a holding midfielder, Azeez may doubtlessly turn into the best “No. 8.” Not solely can he can shake off challenges when carrying the ball ahead, however he may glide previous opponents, defending the ball nicely, with out dropping his stability and has the flexibility in a position to thread line-breaking passes.
Enthusiastic and keen in his method, the England U20 worldwide is diligent in his defensive work, tracks opposing runs and is now creating his understanding of when to interrupt ahead and when to remain within the formation.