It has been notable so far this season that fewer youngsters than usual have trained with the Arsenal first-team squad.
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, Unai Emery has had the majority of his squad available for most games, with there having been far fewer injuries to senior players than has previously been the case.
Furthermore, many of the players that would usually come under consideration for first-team involvement – the most prominent members of the U23 squad – are still rather inexperienced at that level and as such don’t appear ready to be called up at this stage.
It also needs to be taken into consideration that the likes of Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe have only recently been promoted to the first-team squad, so it isn’t as if there aren’t any youngsters getting opportunities.
However, other than Bukayo Saka, who has featured more often for the first-team than perhaps anybody would have expected, there haven’t been many callups for those outside of the first-team squad.
Indeed, only Folarin Balogun, Robbie Burton and Tolaji Bola, who were unused substitutes against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup, have been named in a matchday squad this season.
That could soon change, especially with a hectic schedule on the horizon. Should Arsenal’s final Europa League group game away to Standard Liege be of little importance, that could enable youngsters to be involved.
In addition, the third round of the FA Cup may also be a chance for youngsters to be called up, depending on the opposition.
This week, with a host of players away on international duty, Emery drafted midfielders Matt Smith, Jordan McEneff and James Olayinka in for first-team training sessions along with winger Nathan Tormey.
That quartet, along with Burton, could well get a senior callup over the next couple of months if they continue to work hard.