Unai Emery fielded a number of youngsters in his first season at Arsenal, including Matteo Guendouzi (20), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (21) and Lucas Torreira (23).
We also had a few youngsters away from the club on loan last season as they gained valuable first team experience ahead of competing for a place in our squad this season.
With a transfer budget that cannot compete with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and even Everton in the transfer window this summer, Emery may resort to blooding a number of youngsters this season.
Here are three teenagers who could play an important role in our squad this season:
1. Reiss Nelson
The 19-year-old spent last season on loan in the Bundesliga with 1899 Hoffenheim. The right winger did only make five league starts but appeared a further 18 times from the bench, impressing with seven goals.
Earlier this summer Nelson could have been excited about the prospect of the upcoming season but with the pending signing of Nicolas Pepe, the teenager’s opportunities may be limited. Nelson has been impressing in pre-season as he is set to be backup to the Ivorian this season.
2. Emile Smith Rowe
The England under-19 international spent the second half of last season on loan in Germany as well, with RB Leipzig. However, Emile Smith-Rowe only managed three substitute appearances totaling 28 minutes. The attacking midfielder featured in the Europa League group stage for us last season as well as the EFL Cup. We can expect to see the hot prospect get more game time this season, should he not be sent out on loan.
Mesut Ozil didn’t impress Unai Emery last season, and although we moved away from playing a number 10 last season, Smith Rowe has the ability to change the manager’s mind into playing one again.
3. Gabriel Martinelli
Although Gabriel Martinelli has only just turned 18, he was part of Tite’s Brazil squad for training ahead of the Copa America earlier this summer. The teenage forward has great potential and could feature in EFL Cup and Europa League matches this season, particularly if he impresses in the Under-23s.
Martinelli has scored in pre-season for us in some encouraging performances. Of course, there’s lots of competition for places in attack now, but an injury or two could certainly open a space for our summer signing from Ituano.