The early signs are extremely encouraging, although Germany defender Per Mertesacker and also former Arsenal is into the second year of his position as academy manager at the club.
Having a promising harvest of academy graduates climbing through the ranks at the Emirates Stadium that the Gunners have put an emphasis on youth over experience this summer as they look to secure a path back to the Premier League’s best four and a location in the Champions League.
This season has already impressed, while Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are currently competing for a place in the squad of Unai Emery. James Olayinka and Tyreece John-Jules also impressed through pre-season for the Eddie and Gunners Nketiah, who’s on loan Leeds for the summer season, has scored three goals in his first five matches to the Championship club.
The future is looking bright at the Emirates Stadium.
«We’re very excited about our newest chapter,» Mertesacker told Sky Sports’ Patrick Davison.
«There has been lots of change in this club, including me becoming academy manager, but the philosophy hasn’t changed.
«We think in young players, who will symbolize Arsenal in the first group and also for these men to symbolize the Arsenal first team in this capacity is a proud moment for us all.»
Reiss Nelson, that started against Burnley and Newcastle in the wins of Arsenal, enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at the Bundesliga last season, scoring seven objectives for both Hoffenheim.
Despite his success from the club, the goal of the 19-year-old was always to make his mark at Arsenal, and he is thrilled to be getting this chance this season.
«Arsenal’s a team where they’re not scared to give young players an opportunity to playwith,» the England U21 global told Sky Sports. «There is a lot of young talent at the club ready to bite your hand off to the chance.
«it is a really exciting time for Arsenal and Arsenal fans. We would like to reach the top and we want to be huge stars at Arsenal a while.»
Joe Willock impressed to the Gunners and has been rewarded with starts from Arsenal’s first few matches.
He’s also been provided a new»long-term» contract in the club, but it’s been a very long trip to the very first group for the England U20 international.
«I joined the bar when I was U9 but I have actually been here since I was four-and-a-half,» he explained. «I have two brothers that are players in order that they allow me to play with the old age group several occasions and that I carried on from there.
«Four-and-a-half to the first team – that’s going to take some beating.»
The performances of willock have captured the eye up to now this year and he’s gone viral.
The midfielder produced an excellent recovery experience after being struck off the ball by Jonjo Shelvey which captured Unai Emery excited on the touchline – and their head coach was caught by Arsenal on cam.
«I’ve noticed [the footage], it’s fine,» he further added. «It shows what the manager stands for.
«Not only brilliance in attack nevertheless defence and working hard for your team also. It shows how much he cares about that type of stuff.»
Emile Smith Rowe is yet to feature this year due to injury, but Emery from the Europa League called upon last year him.
Even the 19-year-old played three times during the Gunners’ rush to the final two goals, but had things turned out differently, he might have been plying his trade from west London.
«When I first joined Arsenal, I was very surprised,» he explained.
«I had a trial at Chelsea initially, but I didn’t get . I went back to my own Sunday League team and Arsenal called after. I went for a couple trials to Arsenal in a few weeks after, and I got.
«But at the young age I was not actually thinking about the very first team because it was such a shock for me to be here at the time.»
And Bukayo Saka, the youngest of the quartet in 17, is highly rated in the Emirates Stadium.
He made his first-team debut at Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League, becoming the youngest player to feature because Jack Wilshere.
And he’s determined to make his mark farther at Arsenal.
«There were plenty of different clubs but when Arsenal came calling however, that I believed it had been the ideal decision to come here,» he explained.
«It was rather a battle for my parents to assist me but they gave their all and got me into instruction. For mepersonally, that was lots of motivation. Every time that I came to the club, to this academy it aided me personally to work hard all of the time and also make sure I only give all.»
It’s clear to see Arsenal have an extremely talented harvest of players in and around.
The club also seem to understand it and it’s why » the trainer of Arsenal’s U23 side last year, Freddie Ljungberg, has been promoted to coach in the summertime.
The Swede, who knows Mertesacker nicely from their time together working from the academy, is charged with leading what the team clarify as a»transition team» intended to create a smooth pathway in the academy to the side.
The early signs are encouraging but with more focus on childhood than there’s been at Arsenal for quite a while, Mertesacker knows there is more work to do.
When asked if there’s more attention on the academy at Arsenal now than there has been in prior seasons, he said:»Probably because we’ve made significant and great moves in terms of bringing players in the academy to the initial team and promoting players to different clubs.
«We want to kick out of here and we’re not likely to rest. Also make them better and we want to push on these guys.
«We need a fresh British center for another generation. That’s what we’re attempting to build up here to ensure there is a sense and a major identification with this group. It is a huge job to do.»
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