Arsenal youngsters hoping to make debuts in Liege

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Opportunities for youngsters from outside the first-team squad have been few and far between so far this season, but tonight, as Arsenal conclude their Europa League group stage fixtures with a trip to Standard Liege, there could be as many as three debutants.

Robbie Burton, James Olayinka and Tyreece John-Jules have all featured for the senior side in friendlies but have yet to step on the field in a competitive fixture. That could well change tonight, with the first-team squad heavily affected by injuries.

Burton has captained Arsenal’s U23 side this season and the Welsh midfielder has shown some significant signs of improvement in terms of his tactical understanding of the game while maintaining his impressive passing range.

Olayinka, another midfielder, has struggled with injuries at times and hasn’t been able to hold down a regular place in the starting lineup for the second string, but some of his best performances have been when he has represented the first-team.

John-Jules, meanwhile, has been in impressive form for the U23s, scoring some spectacular goals. An injury prevented him from being named on the bench against Nottingham Forest earlier in the campaign but the highly regarded young striker could now finally get an opportunity to impress.

Interestingly, Zech Medley has also travelled to Liege despite having mainly been a substitute for the U23s this season. Although he is most comfortable at centre-back, he is also capable of filling in at left-back – a position where the first-team are currently short of options with Kieran Tierney set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Archer

Robbie Burton reminds me of Jack Wilshere.

Aussie Gunner

I am very excited about Robbie Burton. From whatever we have seen of him, he does look like a mix of Mikel Arteta and Xavi in how he cycles the ball. I am not saying he is a Xavi or will be, just saying his style looks like him.

Bold claim I know but I think he will be one of the most important players for Arsenal if he stays on the right track and remain injury free.

Rich

He’ll be 20 this month, he can’t sit in our under 21s much longer.

We should renew his deal, then find him a loan where he can pickup 60+ games over the next 18 months.

Same with Nelson and Willock, we should have sent them out to get 40+ games this season, and kept Elneny+Mkhitaryan.

Throwing these kids into a chaotic team with little experience, is throwing lambs to the slaughter, we’re not doing them, or us, any favours….

Chelsea manage their loan system so much better.

Rich

Really hope we start Saka at left back, toget him some experience there

Apparently he’s played there at youth level?

And other than Niles, who were probably going to need at right back, we’re really short on options going into the busiest period.

Malcolm Tucker

Really hope Medley gets a run out. Tall, strong, comfortable on the ball, I’ve got high hope for him being a long term CB solution.

Gunnersaurus Russ

Is Bola travelling too? With his talent, the future is bright for him for LB position. Really hope that he can fill the vacant foe the game

Richie

Zech does have a Medley of talents.

Runzac

Saw him against Angers in preseason last summer. Not so comfortable on the ball there at least. The step up from the youth teams pace wise, is troubling for some.

shokim

Best of luck to our youngsters tonight. COYG