Connect in the back of the net

Last season saw the unforeseen rise of many a youngster such as Marcus Rashford, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi.

Although these youngsters were tendered first-team minutes only during adverse conditions, odds are that the Premier League will see such revelations in the upcoming season.

Donyell Malen and Stephy Mavididi have been proving talented enough to become Arsenal’s first-teamers in the near future, but they will likely be busy with the youth setup for at least one more season.

Here are five Arsenal youngsters O-Posts thinks could become the next Alex Iwobi.

 

Jeff Reine-Adelaide

Moving from Lens for in excess of £2 million, observers expected Jeff Reine-Adelaide to garner at least a handful of starts last season.

However, he was reduced to just two senior substitute appearances though he was a regular fixture for Andries Jonker’s team.

As he can operate both as a central midfielder and as a right-winger, Arsene Wenger may hand him a few minutes, which he should make a solid impression with and maybe compete with Iwobi for a spot in the starting line-up.

 

Krystian Bielik

Brought in as a defensive midfielder, Krystian Bielik has been transformed into a central defender.

The £2 million Polish youth international, despite making just a single senior appearance, has established himself as an automatic starter in the under-21 Premier League; Jonker even handed him the captain’s armband in three decisive FA Youth Cup games.

Should Calum Chambers leave the club on loan, he will likely be given at least a single Capital One Cup start to prove himself on big stage.

 

Jon Toral

Initially expected to find his first-team breakthrough before his long-time pal Hector Bellerin, Jon Toral may now feel he has impressed the Arsenal manager enough whilst on loan with second-tier side Birmingham City.

Starting 28 games for the Blues, the former Barcelona starlet grabbed eight goals and provided four assists as he collected Players’ Player of the Season, Supporters’ Player of the Season and won Goal of the Season last season.

Although his position is crammed with top-notch talents such as Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla, he may get his chances to make a mark, especially with the latter tipped to succumb to senescence.

 

Chuba Akpom

Chuba Akpom had a rather disappointing season with then-Championship club Hull City last season, scoring a measly three league goals in 19 starts and 16 substitute appearances.

Although a change of scenery and system may bring to light the striker many tipped him to become two seasons ago, he is back to square one now as he may need to prove himself in the youth setup again before being considered for first-team starts.

However, the hunger he boasts will goad him to reclaim his status at the club. A few appearances is all the English lad needs to sweep the Arsenal faithful off their feet.

 

Gedion Zelalem

Whilst Gedion Zelalem’s technical ability has always been undoubted, he has now added playing for a Scottish Championship League-winning side to his resume.

Having earned plaudits for his performances, the United States youth international is certain to be involved with the senior side if he chooses to fight for his place.

However, it is already a given that he will go on to replace Tomas Rosicky in the long term even if he fails to garner the limelight he deserves next season, because of the surfeit of talent the Gunners have in midfield, as a footballing brain like his ought to be recognized.

 

Written by Praveen Paramasivam

Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen

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