Arsenal is one of the big teams in the Premier League that has given us some amazing seasons and some amazing teams in the past. In recent years the Gunners have been struggling and last year the club finished outside the top 4, missing out on the Champions League. While teams like Manchester City and Manchester United are spending hundreds of millions on new players, Arsenal refuse to spend too much and still focus on youthful players to develop.
In this article we will be looking at 5 players from the Arsenal Youth Academy. If you are thinking about a long-term save with the Gunners, make sure to keep these players around. If you nurture these players, they will not disappoint you. The players you see on this list all have the potential to develop into a first team player and maybe even into a world-class or elite player.
The list in random order:
17-year-old Reiss Nelson was one of the bigger English Wonderkids in last season’s edition of Football Manager. The young winger has continued this in FM18, making him one of the biggest future stars in the Arsenal Academy. Nelson is a left winger, but is also capable of playing as a right winger, striker or even as a left/right wingback. You should definitely keep him at the club, maybe appointing an experienced player as a tutor to help him.
18-year-old Eddie Nketiah could be your future striker at Arsenal. The young England U19 international could develop into a lethal striker that is capable to outrun almost every opponent he will encounter. Concentrate his development on typical striker attributes, make sure to give him enough playtime and he will develop into a very good striker.
Another versatile player in the Arsenal Academy is Joe Willock. The 17-year-old midfielder’s best position is the Attacking Midfielder position. But, he is also capable of playing as an AMR, AML, MC and even as a left/right Wingback if needed. Willock is a very technical player for his age, ideal for the playing style Arsenal tries to put onto the pitch.
Young French winger Jeff Reine-Adelaide can be compared to Manchester United’s left winger Anthony Martial. He is fast, very technical and has a very good dribble for a player his age. Reine-Adelaide could be your left winger, while Reiss Nelson could be the player that cuts in from the right. Reine-Adelaide is (as is every player on this list) versatile enough to play on all midfield positions and also play as a secondary or false striker.
Last but not least is Joao Virginia. This 17-year-old goalkeeper could be your long-term replacement for Petr Cech. The former Chelsea goalkeeper is 35 years old and will be retiring sooner than later. While Joao Virginia might be too young to take over in 2 or 3 seasons, he will be a goalkeeper to watch as an Arsenal manager. Despite his age he is showing some decent skills already, which he will only develop over the years, making him a pretty solid goalkeeper. So, if you are not planning to buy a new goalkeeper, Joao Virginia would be a good pick.