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Updates on Arsenal’s young players

Which Academy team members may join Unai Emery’s squad?

Arsenal v Blackpool - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The summer transfer window is open, and Arsenal are expected to see several players coming in and others going out. Some of those that we may be seeing more of are young players that make up a part of the Arsenal Academy.

We saw some flashes of talent from players such as Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock during the 2018-2019 season. At the same time, forward Reiss Nelson impressed during his loan move to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.

Here’s a look at how some of Arsenal’s youth team members and on loan players fared this past season.

Calum Chambers

The 24-year-old defender spent the season on loan at Fulham. Although his side was relegated, Chambers was named Player of the Year for the Cottagers. He also gained valuable experience which only adds to his value. Rumors are that Arsenal will consider offers for the player, however, he may yet have a chance to prove his worth in North London next season.

Reiss Nelson

Nelson is a product of the Arsenal Academy and has represented England at the youth level since the age of 16. The 19-year-old scored six goals in his first seven matches for Hoffenheim and became popular with the German fans. He is one of seven players up for the Bundesliga Rookie Award.

Injuries limited Nelson’s playing time in the second half of the season. Despite this, he proved that he is worthy of being given a shot to become a part of the Gunner’s first team.

Emiliano Martinez

Martinez has been with Arsenal for a number of years now but has spent much of that time on loan with other clubs. The goalkeeper joined Reading in January and appeared in 18 matches. He played well and it’s believed that several Championship sides are interested in signing him should he leave Arsenal.

With Petr Cech retiring there may be an opportunity for Martinez as the backup to Bernd Leno. This will depend on what happens with David Ospina who spent the bulk of last season on loan with Napoli.

Krystian Bielik

The Polish youth international played a major role in Charlton’s promotion to the Championship from League One. He was even named Man of the Match in the Addick’s 2-1 victory over Sunderland at Wembley.

Bielik is a versatile player and split his time between Charlton’s midfield and defense. With Arsenal’s current defensive problems, the 21-year-old could prove a valuable squad player for Unai Emery’s side next season.

Emile Smith Rowe

Smith Rowe impressed during the Gunners’ 2018 pre-season tour in Singapore scoring in a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid and providing an assist in his side’s 5-1 victory over PSG. He then featured in several of Arsenal’s early Europa League matches and became the first player born in the 2000’s to make his Arsenal professional debut.

He scored his first goal at the Emirates in a 2-1 victory over Blackpool in the Fourth Round of the Carabao Cup last October.

Smith Rowe went on loan to RB Leipzig in January and had limited playing time due to injury. Regardless, fans saw enough of the attacking midfielder to know that he is one to watch.

Emery signed Smith Rowe to a new long-term professional contract last summer and described the player as one with “lots of potential”.

Burnley FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Eddie Nketiah

Nketiah became an instant Arsenal hero in the fall of 2017. The Gunners were down 0-1 to Norwich in the 85th minute of a League Cup match. Within fifteen seconds and with his first touch, Nketiah scored. He added a second in extra time to give his side a comeback victory.

The young forward has made several appearances with the first team squad but has had limited playing time. He scored his first goal in the Premier League on the last day of this season away to Burnley. Nketiah has traveled with the first team to Baku for the Europa League final.

Nketiah has represented England at the youth level and is just turning 20 at the end of this month. There is talk that the player will be loaned out next season in order to give him significant playing time.

Joe Willock

The 19-year-old midfielder is another of Arsenal’s promising English youngsters. He made his Premier League debut against Newcastle United in April 2018 and scored his first senior goal last November in a Europa League match versus Vorskla Poltava. Earlier this season Willock scored a brace away at Blackpool in Arsenal’s FA Cup fourth round 0-3 victory.

Willock has been included in Emery’s final squad for the Europa League final in Baku.

Bukayo Saka

17-year-old Saka is a product of Arsenal’s Hale End Academy and has represented England at the youth level. Like other Academy players, Saka made his senior debut last fall during the group stages of the Europa League.

Saka made his first Premier League appearance this past January as he came on as a sub in Arsenal’s 4–1 win against Fulham.

The young forward has been included in Arsenal’s Europa League Final squad.

Jordi Osei-Tuti

20-year-old Osei-Tutu joined Arsenal in 2015 after being signed from Reading’s academy for a fee of around £100,000.

Osei-Tutu is an important member of Arsenal’s U-23 team and Emery is aware of his potential. He was given a start in Emery’s first match as Arsenal boss last July in a pre-season meeting with Boreham Wood.

A number of clubs inquired about the defender in the January transfer window, but Emery halted any move due to Hector Bellerin’s injury.