Although Arsenal might be struggling to land high profile additions to their squad this summer, the form of their youngsters in pre-season friendlies will give their fans plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future of the club.
Gedion Zelalem and Serge Gnabry have impressed the most, although Chuba Akpom also gave a reminder that Yaya Sanogo is not the only talented young striker at the club, and Arsenal now face a decision over whether they should farm their best youngster out on loan to continue their development.
In the past that would certainly have been the best route, but with the growth in youth competitions in Europe, Arsenal might be best served by keeping the likes of Gnabry and Zelalem at the club to play together in competitions likes the Under-21 Premier League and the NextGen series.
The level of these tournaments is improving all the time, and their profile is growing so much that there was regular coverage of the standout performers throughout last season. In addition Arsenal will be able to monitor the progress of their players far more easily than if they were sent out on loan, and their youngsters will get used to playing with each other.
Of course the right loan could see their youth players play at a more competitive level than either the Under-21 Premier League or the NextGen, but there is also a risk that Arsenal’s loanees will rarely feature or be played out of position at a different club.
If they keep them at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger will be able to use the best of their youth academy in Carling Cup fixtures, and perhaps one or two could even force their way into the first team squad on occasion.
With the better quality of youth competition now available, Arsenal’s best option could well be to keep their youngsters until they are ready for a Premier League loan.
How would you use the talented pair?
image: © wonker