Up to NINE Arsenal youngsters could leave for free this summer

Several Arsenal youngsters are facing a nervous second half of the season.

Arsenal have one of the best youth team academy setups in England and Europe, which has produced some superb players in recent years for Arsene Wenger to use in his first team such as Jack Wilshere and Serge Gnabry.

The problem for Arsenal is that as the system produces so much talent, there will be players who slip through the net and the Gunners have nine under-21 stars with expiring deals this summer.

Wenger will commission the side to offer new contracts to the stars he wants to keep for the future but it means that there will be some very good players looking for new clubs at the end of the season.

The nine stars with expiring deals this summer are; Benik Afobe, Chuba Akpom, Zak Ansah, Daniel Boateng, Zachari Fagan, Isaac Hayden, Kris Olsson, Leander Siemann and Ignasi Miquel.

There are obvious candidates for new contracts in that list with the likes of Afobe, Akpom, Hayden and Olsson all shoe-ins for new deals.

That means that others will be allowed to move on with Ignasi Miquel one of the more experienced players from that list who could be allowed to leave.

The 21-year-old Spanish defender is currently on loan with Leicester City in the Championship and should the Foxes gain promotion to the Premier League, they may well push to sign him on a permanent deal.

For those stars with slightly lower profiles compared to the players likely to get new deals, the challenge is a simple one.

They have half a season to play out of their skin over different competitions to show academy bosses and Arsene Wenger that they deserve new deals and deserve to represent Arsenal over the next few years.

image: © lodekka

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch