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Arsenal NextGen preview: Five players to watch out for

Which five players should really stand out among a highly talented Arsenal team, while Aston Villa will be looking to grab the first points of their NextGen campaign?

As Aston Villa, Tottenham and Chelsea have all found out this year’s NextGen competition is highly competitive with teams from Portugal, Germany and Russia beating and running all three close in tough opening fixtures.

Arsenal are new to the competition this year and have a good recent history of bringing talented youngsters through their ranks with the likes of Seb Larsson, Fabrice Muamba, Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabregas, Henri Lansbury and Ashley Cole to name a few.

With a global scouting network Arsenal have an abundance of talent to call upon but which five members named in the Young Gunners 32 man squad should you be keeping an eye out for?

Serge Gnabry

The 17 year old German youth international has made a huge impression at Arsenal since joining from VfB Stuttgart last summer. With raw pace and brilliant technical ability the youngster has impressed enough to make his first team debut in a friendly against FC Koln this summer and earn his first professional contract.

Jack Jebb

Similar to Jack Wilshere in playing style, Jebb is a strong and intricate player with all the talents to go far. One of the youngest members of the squad so may not get tons of playing time but when he does he will aim to show his vast array of talents to the Arsenal faithful.

Thomas Eisfeld

The former Dortmund player had a brilliant pre-season with the Arsenal first team but has been included in the NextGen squad where he will undoubtedly make some sort of impression. Injury prone in the past Arsenal appear to be getting the best out of him as he pushes for League Cup action this season.

Kristoffer Olsson

Another player who has struggled with injury Kris now finds himself fully fit. The Swedish centre midfielder signed pro forms this summer and will become an integral part for the reserves this season.

Nico Yennaris

If he doesn’t go out on loan then Nico Yennaris will really stand out in any NextGen games he features in. He has already tasted Premier League football and was another player to impress with the first team in pre-season. If he is made available he will be a standout performer for Arsenal’s young gunners.

There are many more then these 5 to keep a watchful eye on in particular Sead Hajrovic, Chuks Aneke, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill, Chuba Akpom and Nigel Neita to name a few and with Arsene Wenger insisting he will watch every NextGen game; all will be trying to impress enough to gain valuable playing time in the League Cup this season. They could start by beating Marseille tonight.

Here are some tweets from the Arsenal boys…

Austin Lipman ‏@Austinlipman

Buzzing for tomorrow night, playing against Marseille in the @nextgenseries at barnet stadium, who coming to watch?

kristoffer olsson ‏@krisolsson

big game tomorrow vs marseille at barnet 7 pm, come and support us! @nextgenseries

Chuba Akpom ‏@Chuba10

@ Barnet stadium v Marseille u19s KO: 7

While Arsenal take on Marseille at Underhill Aston Villa are in Holland to face off against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, looking to put an opening game defeat behind them.

Here are some tweets from the fired up Villa players…

Jack Grealish ‏@JackGrealish1

Up n ready for the game today!! Buzzing for it :) training in a lil while then game at half 6 tonight!

jordan graham ‏@jordandakid

On my way to villa, grab some breakfast then off to birmingham airport to catch a flight to amsterdam! Psv eindhoven tomorrow night :) #avfc

Malcolm melvin ‏@Malcolmmelvin1

PSV away in our second @NextGenSeries game hopefully come back with the 3 points #AVFC #LoveFootball

But the PSV boys are up for it as well…

Rai ‏@RaiVloet

Goodmorning, today starts OUR @NextGenSeries tonight at 18h30 against Aston Villa

Here is a look at how Aston Villa's campaign started- And five players to watch from them

With Juventus also in action against Fenerbahce it is a busy and important night in the NextGen series. We will bring you the story of today’s fixtures plus a preview to Manchester City’s campaign tomorrow.

images: © Matt and Kim Rudge, © Ronnie Macdonal

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