Nwakali, Nelson and the top five teenage stars to watch at Arsenal

By | March 31, 2022

Armory’s youth set-upwardly is going through an overhaul after the recent difference of university main Andries Jonker but the conveyor belt of talent shows no sign of halting, with recent graduates Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles having fabricated beginning-team appearances over the past flavour.

Just which players are likely to break through next? Here,
picks out five starlets to keep an heart on in the coming months…


Arsene Wenger has high hopes for Nigerian starlet Nwakali, a player who was scouted and signed after his magnificent performances at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. The forrard is able to play beyond the front line and possesses an abundance of dribbling and skilful technical qualities which allow him to vanquish opposition defenders with ease.

Currently on loan at Dutch second division side Maastricht following a recommendation from former academy chief Jonker, the 18-year-erstwhile was recently interviewed by Goal – his first with a major Britain publication – where he spoke nigh his upbringing, futurity and more. The full interview will exist published on March 29.

Height 50 teenagers in globe football

Nwakali, who revealed he had ever wanted to play for the Gunners, remains quietly confident of doing enough to impress Arsenal this flavour but has no problem with going out on loan for further experience next season, if required.

“I honey Arsenal,” Nwakali told
Goal. “I’one thousand a Barcelona fan but I’ve always wanted to play for Arsenal. I was happy meeting the showtime team players confront to face up.

“I’m not the i who will decide what happens but all I can practice my ain work, piece of work hard and let the dominate come across that I’grand working hard. If Arsenal decide that next season they want me to play in Arsenal, no problem.

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“If they decide they desire me to come back to London it’s notwithstanding no problem. They take to make their choice and I will respect it.”


Reiss Nelson

Having signed a professional contract in December, the globe is at Nelson’s feet equally he continues to make inroads for Arsenal’due south under-23 side. Nelson scored nine goals in 10 games for England at the European Under-17 Championship terminal summer and is considered ane of the Three Lions’ hottest prospects.

Nelson, a quondam Tottenham trialist, joined the Armory academy aged seven and will wait to print for the nether-23s and in pre-flavor this summertime. His ability is unquestioned but it remains to be seen whether Wenger volition wait to claret him in the starting time team or transport him out loan for further experience, every bit he’s previously done with the likes of Nwakali and Dan Crowley.

“I trained with the first-squad during pre-season, which helped me a lot,” said Nelson in a blog on Arsenal’due south official website last year.

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“I’ve trained a few more times with the offset team since and then and it’s both harder and easier at the aforementioned time.

“It’s harder because you accept to piece of work on concentrating for every second and thinking ahead, because the tempo and speed of play and motion is faster, merely it’southward easier considering when you play with acme-class players the accuracy and movement is better, so more than of your runs and passes count.”



Wenger admitted last yr that Willock wasn’t far from playing in the Arsenal first team just the England youngster has only played 25 minutes of League Cup action this flavor. The 19-year-one-time is existence tracked by clubs in England and across Europe, making a loan move likely in gild to fast-rails his development.

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Indeed, Celtic take been linked with Willock and the catchy winger might just be tempted past a motion to Glasgow at the end of the current campaign considering while his technical talent has not been questioned at the Emirates, he does have several players ahead of him in the pecking order.

Willock’s younger blood brother Joe is currently at the Arsenal academy, while his other sibling Matthew is a regular for Manchester United’s under-21 side.

“Chris is a very gifted actor with natural forcefulness and natural talent,” said Wenger. “He has what you exercise not notice very hands. He tin can have a go at people, can become past people in one on ones.

“We forget sometimes that the basis of team sport is to first be stiff one against ane and Chris has that quality.

“I believe that he has the needed character when he has his back to the wall to ever answer in a very strong way. That’s a very of import quality, to exist able to play under pressure. If I had to play him then I would have no fearfulness in doing so.”



Versatility tin exist an advantage if you’re an upwardly-and-coming youngster at i of the Premier League’due south biggest clubs. No-one has benefitted from that trait more Maitland-Niles, a technically astute central midfielder who is as well able to play at right-back or in forepart of the defense force.

Wenger believes that the nineteen-year-old has both the physical and technical qualities to succeed, complimenting him on his “mobility” and “good centre” for a pass afterwards a League Loving cup victory over Nottingham Forest dorsum in October.

“Ainsley Maitland-Niles has played a lot on the flanks but I’ve seen qualities in him that tell me he can exist useful in the middle and he can as well be a defensive specialist,” the Frenchman said.

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“He’s very expert in one against ones and quick in his recoveries, very adept in duels, and not scared to play either. I’m pleased for him considering he’s a boy who has had to be patient, who has a skilful mentality. I like him very much and I think his game is very positive.”


Sometime Chelsea schoolboy Nketiah is only 17 but continues to evidence the goalscoring prowess of a much older striker. He’south trained with the first squad on several occasions this flavour and academy staff believe he has the potential to make it in the superlative flying.

Nketiah was Arsenal under-18’s peak scorer last season with 24 goals in 28 appearances only faces tough competition with the likes of Stephy Mavididi, Donyell Malen and Josh Dasilva all competing for a piece of first-team action.

“I achieved the contract through working difficult and trying to go along improving, and equally a professional that’s something that I’m determined to keep doing considering it takes me a step closer to the first team and I know how high the standards are,” Nketiah stated.

“I’ve trained quite a few times with the first team at present and you see how everything is faster and sharper. Playing confronting strong defenders like Laurent Koscielny, you lot have to be concentrated and apply good movement to get away from him.

“I watch our strikers a lot as well and I’chiliad working towards being as consummate a player every bit possible. My game is mainly stride, move and finishing, but I’ve made an attempt to concord the brawl up better which is something vital for the team and that Olivier Giroud does so well.”

Source: https://www.sportingnews.com/us/soccer/news/nwakali-nelson-and-the-top-five-teenager-stars-to-watch-at-arsenal/1gkg9873b2txa1ob1g697s8dm1