It was a glorious occasion for Arsenal U23s last Friday as they beat West Ham United 3-0 at London Stadium to be crowned champions at that level for the first time since 1990.
Arsenal’s youngsters have produced some excellent performances this campaign but, ultimately, the academy will of course be judged on how many players manage to establish themselves in the first-team and it will be intriguing to see what the next steps will be for some of the players concerned.
Here’s a look at what could be on the horizon next season for the youngsters that were most heavily involved for the U23s this campaign.
Nelson has become a familiar figure in and around the first-team squad this season, making 15 senior appearances in total, and it is hoped that he will be able to add to that tally next campaign.
The starlet has yet to sign a new deal with Arsenal but the expectation is that he will commit his future to the club, and, if that does come to fruition, he could become increasingly involved in the Premier League.
Another player who has been involved with the first-team this campaign, Nketiah hit the headlines with his brace against Norwich City in the Carabao Cup.
The striker has continued to impress when called upon at youth level but next season he needs more first-team minutes. Perhaps the ideal scenario would be for him to feature in the League Cup as a starter in the first half of next season before being sent out on loan, but only if a suitable team can be found for his development which suits Arsenal’s playing style.
Willock made his Premier League debut in the defeat to Newcastle United recently and has developed well this campaign but the midfielder perhaps isn’t quite ready to fully break into the first-team just yet.
A loan move elsewhere could prove to be beneficial for his development, but, again, Arsenal must take much consideration in deciding where to send him as so many temporary transfers in recent seasons haven’t had the desired effect.
A powerful midfielder who has also featured in defence, Dasilva was involved in the early stages of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup campaign this season.
The 19-year-old is arguably more ready to step up than Willock and deserves an opportunity to prove his worth in pre-season as his versatility could make him a useful squad member next season.
This time last year Osei-Tutu hadn’t made a single appearance for Arsenal U23s but he was a regular this campaign and, arguably, was the team’s best performer overall.
The right-back relishes pushing forwards and has also improved defensively. Maybe it is a little too early for him to be promoted to the first-team squad but he certainly deserves to be involved in some capacity next campaign.
Dragomir has long been seen as a player with much potential, but this season he stepped up to start performing on a consistent basis.
Capable of playing as a winger or an attacking midfielder, the Romanian has also been used up front and has excellent technical ability. He will hope to feature in the League Cup next season.
EMILE SMITH ROWE
At times this season Smith Rowe has looked simply too good for youth level, with the 17-year-old thriving whether deployed as a central midfielder or in his usual position on the left flank.
It seems very likely that he will be involved with the first-team in some capacity next season and it will be intriguing to see how he fares.
The tall defender was signed last season after he elected to join Chelsea and he has played an important part for both the U23s and the FA Youth Cup side this campaign.
Composed in possession, Medley will hope to earn a senior callup next season but could end the campaign out on loan.