Arsenal fans are understandably disappointed with Arsene Wenger’s inability – or unwillingness – to bring any new faces to the club on transfer deadline day, with Petr Cech our solitary signing this summer. His inactivity suggests he has confidence in the current squad, but also perhaps that he believes there are a number of academy products ready to make the step up.
We saw 18 players leave the club this summer, some on loan and some on a permanent basis. Despite the huge number of departures though, we saw just one player arrive. So how does Wenger plan to cope?
The departure of Chuba Akpom on loan was a surprising one, especially considering his excellent pre-season form, but there are several other hugely promising youth prospects who could be ready to make the step up.
Arguably the brightest star is Jeff Reine-Adelaide, who really caught the eye at the Emirates Cup. He is understandably still rather raw, but he boasts the physical attributes to thrive in the Premier League, and showed during pre-season he has excellent technique.
He has already been shining for the U21s side this season, and with our options on the wing rather limited, he could be ready for a first team opportunity sooner rather than later.
Reine-Adelaide was signed at the same time as Yassin Fortune, who has also looked impressive since his arrival. He was part of the side that won the Durban U19s International Football Tournament, and grabbed himself a number of goals in the process – including the match winner in the final.
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The third name of note is Alex Iwobi, who just like Reine-Adelaide showed real promise in the Emirates Cup. The fact that he hasn’t been sent out on loan could bode well for Iwobi, who could see chances arrive in the Capital One Cup or the Champions League group stages. If he impresses then he could be fast-tracked, as he’s another player who looks to have all the makings of a Premier League star.
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There are a number of other promising youngsters looking to break into the side, but we will have to wait and see which of them are ready to make the step up this season.