Unai Emery says Arsenal’s Academy graduates can expect first team opportunities next season and revealed that those who’ve been included in the pre-season tour of the US are making a good impression.
In addition to the four youngsters, Eddie Nketiah, Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock, who’ve earned a summer promotion, the Gunners have taken a number of last season’s under-23s and under-18s with them to Los Angeles.
Zech Medley, James Olayinka, Bukaya Saka, Robbie Burton, Tyreece John-Jules and Dominic Thompson all featured in the 3-0 win over Colorado Rapids, as did new signing Gabriel Martinelli. The next challenge is giving them minutes in competitive matches and it looks as though that could happen in the Europa League.
Facing the press ahead of tomorrow’s friendly with Bayern Munich, Unai Emery fielded a question from Blogs himself about integrating our teenage contingent.
His reply: “We are going to play every competition thinking to do the best. Our objective this season is playing to get some titles, we are going to work to achieve that.
“Where we can give young players chances to play we will. We are thinking to win titles but in the Europa League we will give young players opportunities to play.
“Last year we did that but also thinking their first objective is to achieve the performance with them to win and do a good way on all competitions.”
Emery also touched on how the Stateside training camp has gone so far. So far, so good by the sounds of things.
“Really we are working very well,” he said. “We are working with patience, the players are coming after their holidays.
“Now needs to be with us Iwobi, Elneny, Matteo and Lucas but the other players are here and also with the young players we are working very well.
“We are creating a strong moment now for all the season, working hard and really we are also working with the possibility to sign some new players to help us.
“We are doing a lot of meetings with the club, with Edu, also with Josh and Stan Kroenke yesterday in Denver. We have a very clear idea: to sign the players who can help us with a good performance and in the positions we need.”