Unai Emery says that Arsenal have a responsibility to give opportunities to young players as the Gunners are set to field a team without a great deal of experience against FC Vorskla tomorrow.
With a host of academy players in the squad for the Europa League clash due to upcoming Premier League games against Sp*rs on Sunday and Man Utd on Wednesday, it’s likely some will get a start.
Eddie Nketiah, for example, looks certain to get a run up front while the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Jordi Osei-Tutu and Joe Willock could also be in contention as the Gunners seek the win that will ensure they win the group.
Speaking in Kyiv this evening, Emery spoke about the youthful nature of his squad and the reasons behind it.
“We have a big responsibility with young players,” he said.
“At Arsenal, every year we are working very well with young players. When there are matches like tomorrow’s in a very big week for us, where we are playing a lot of matches, we have players to cover here.
“We need to give them chances. They are working with us in all the sessions and also in pre-season.
“They are coming with us because we can give them chances tomorrow and also because we would prefer for some players to not do this long travelling. We prefer for them to stay in London working for the next match on Sunday.
“The Europa League is very important for us and it’s very important for us to win tomorrow and come first in this group.
“The young players are going to have chances. Then you know that some players like Eddie Nketiah, like Willock, like Emile Smith Rowe, have played.
“Then other younger players are coming through with us like Bukayo, Dominic, Zech and Charlie.
“For us, it’s not different because they are working with us every day.”
It’s likely to be a strange affair, in mostly empty stadium, but the youngsters do have guidance from the likes of Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – all of whom should be in the side tomorrow evening.