What does the future hold for Arsenal youngsters?

Having missed out on the trip to USA, what can Arsenal’s “stars for the future” expect from the upcoming season?

Charlie Patino

The most well known player on this list, 18-year-old Patino made a goal-scoring debut against Sunderland in the League Cup last year.

He then suffered from the social media hype machine with fans then calling for him to start week in week out after his 10-minute cameo. But he was not ready.

That showed in his next appearance for the club – the defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.

Patino looked lightweight and was a boy playing a mans game.

It is important not to criticise him for that performance – the entire team were horrendous. Patino was also playing deeper than usual in a midfield two alongside Albert Sambi-Lokonga. It was a tough game for the young man.

Arsenal did the right thing with him putting him back to the PL2 side to continue his development.

This took him away from the eye of the common fan and allowed him to grow without the hype.

Recent pictures show him having bulked up. He now looks like he has the body of a senior footballer rather than that of a gangly youth-team player.

So what does the season hold for him?

Mikel Arteta seems to want to play with one defensive midfielder and then two “8s” either side. From what I have seen of Patino he now has the physicality and technique to play as an 8.

We currently have Martin Odergaard, Fabio Vieira, Granit Xhaka and Emile Smith Rowe as the front-line options in that area.

There is certainly space for Patino to in that squad – especially if Smith Rowe is required on the wing. But you have to think that if he was going to be in Arteta’s first team plans this season he would be on the plane to the USA.

I would not be surprised if he plays in the Europa League and League Cup fixtures this side of Christmas, and then is loaned out to a Championship side for the 2nd half of the year to get week in, week out game time. Europa League & League Cup followed by half season loan in the Championship.

Karl Hein

Last season Arsenal decided to promote Arthur Okonkwo to the first team squad whilst then 19-year-old Estonian keeper Hein in the academy.

Up to that point it was a toss up between the two with regards to who became our 3rd choice keeper and who would keep nets for the PL2 team.

It is a debate as to which decision meant which player was higher up the pecking order.

Whilst his first-team promotion make Okonkwo 3rd choice on paper, Hein would be playing week in week out which would keep him more prepared to step up if needed.

For the 2nd half of the season Hein was loaned out to Reading who he then made 5 Championship appearances for.

The debate between Hein and Okonkwo has been settled by who is on the plane – Arteta opting for the Englishman.

That would lead me to believe that Okonwko will remain as Arsenal’s 3rd choice keeper this season behind Aaron Ramsdale and Matt Turner.

A season long loan where he plays week in, week out would do wonders for his development.
He would probably have to drop down to a League One level to get that game time. League One Loan.

Miguel Azeez

England Under-20 international had his loan spell at Portsmouth cut short last season.

As Arsenal faced a central midfield crisis, Arteta decided to recall Azeez to bolster his senior squad.

His loan spell with Portsmouth was also not going as expected – just a handful of appearances in the Championship and League Cup.

Azeez turns 20 in September. The next 12 months will be huge for him.

He still needs that loan deal and having struggled in League One I would be surprised if he plays any higher than the Championship.

It is important that wherever he goes he gets week in week out game time. There is no point him joining a Premier League or top end Championship side to just sit on the bench. Loan

Brooke Norton-Cuffy
Matt Smith
Salah-Eddine Oulad ‘m Hand



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