The Gunners have managed to create several stars from their own academy, Jack Wilshere being the latest player to work his way in to the first team and establish himself as a Premier League star. Arsenal have a few promising youngsters to call upon in their academy and might find the risk of playing them over buying someone established paying off.
Thomas Eisfield was bought to the club in January 2012 from Borussia Dortmund, the same club that produced the talent of Mario Gotze. His signing was deemed exciting when he first joined and showed great potential in the Asia tour last summer netting twice. However he has failed to move his way in to the side, making only one substitute appearance in the Capital One Cup. At 19, he still has plenty of years to develop and grow in to a leading player for club and country. Expect to see him on the Asia tour this year and don’t be surprised if he turns out to be a star performer.
Serge Gnabry was also signed from Germany last year and quickly made an impression. He is one of the youngest players in the U21 side at 17 and has already played in the Capital One Cup, Premier League and Champions League, all as substitutes. He is a pacy attacker likened to Arsenal’s very own Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. His involvement in the first team was stopped short as injury took over his season but with him back fit, he should be well on his way to establishing himself in the first team.
Gedion Zelalem was found playing in America when Danny Karbassiyon found him and bought him to Arsenal. His debut for the U21s (at only 16) was highly anticipated and he did not disappoint. He will probably not break in to the first team next season because of his age but his talent suggests he could make an impact. Jack Wilshere was slowly integrated in to the side after his emergence and Zelalem has received similar hype. He might be involved in pre-season to show what he can do and if he carries his form in to that then a Capital One Cup spot could well be his.
The other positive is all three players have played together and played well. Wenger will be aware of the talent he has in the club’s U21s and below and will be no doubt trying a few of them in pre-season before deciding to dip in the transfer market.