Arsenal under-21 boss Steve Gatting gave his thoughts to the club’s website on a number of first team stars after they all made appearances during the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Reading last night.
Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and Serge Gnabry all featured for the Arsenal youth side with Wilshere particularly impressing.
“Diaby was excellent in the time he was on the pitch and Jack Wilshere was outstanding - the best player on the pitch by far,” said Gatting.
“Gnabry got through it for the second 90 minutes he’s played for us and it’s minutes on the pitch.”
“It’s up to the manager whether he (Gnabry) continues to play with the under-21s for the rest of the season. We’re delighted when we get the first-team players.”
Wilshere has fought his way back from an ankle problem but faces a difficult task to get back into the Arsenal side because central midfield is one of the busiest areas of Arsene Wenger’s squad.
His talent and quality is undoubted and he’s obviously a level above the under-21 ranks.
For Diaby and Gnabry it’s going to be more difficult for them to force their way back into the first team picture.
Diaby’s injury problems have been well documented while Arsene Wenger may feel it’s better for him to leave Gnabry in the youth ranks for the rest of the campaign unless there’s a serious problem in the first team.
There is also merit leave the first team players in the under-21 ranks for as long as possible with the youngsters chasing promotion into division one of the under-21 Premier League.