Three reasons to be cheerful as Mikel Arteta’s young guns shine for Arsenal

Jake Leach hails the young Arsenal players destined to shine for Mikel Arteta while giving hope to Gooners everywhere

Three reasons to be cheerful as Mikel Arteta’s young guns shine for Arsenal

A youthful Arsenal side have given new hope to long-suffering supporters after thrashing Chelsea 3-1 on Boxing Day, while also easing the pressure on Mikel Arteta.

As Arsenal gear up to face Brighton, Arteta is still under the cosh as the club bid to climb the table despite the convincing three points - but the search for future success under the Spaniard has been given a new glimmer of hope by his talented young guns.

The Gunners sat on 14 points from the same number of games before wiping the floor with Chelsea. Arteta handed former Hale End graduates a prominent role in the London derby and they did not disappoint.

Reasons to be cheerful: No1 Emile Smith Rowe

Emile Smith-Rowe has had to be patient to get his start in the league, but his performance means he will be one of the first names on the team sheet next time out.

ESR, Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka all provided a magnificent showing against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.

Despite the number 35 not being a product of the Hale End, his progress has enhanced magnificently at London Coloney since his arrival last summer.

ESR also spent a section of Christmas Day on a zoom call to patients at a care home in Islington. Great to see the youngster showing maturity and professionalism on and off the field. 

Reasons to be cheerful: No2 Bukayo Saka

Saka has been one of the club's players of the season so far and his performance against the Blues added to his growing reputation. While his goal did him no harm either. His audacious attempt finished Chelsea off after the teenager spotted Edouard Mendy off his line to make it 3-0.

The new No7 has made 40 Premier League appearances at the tender age of 19. He caught the eye last season in the No 77 shirt, assisting 11 times and scoring four goals in 39 games.

Being gifted the hallowed No7 shirt has not affected the confidence of the versatile left-sided player. His performance against the boys from Stamford Bridge merited applause to say the least.

Despite it being an abysmal season overall as an Arsenal fan so far, Saka has stepped up and consistently impressed on the biggest stage of all. This shows maturity and ability.

This season he has four goal contributions in 18 games, and he has started every game since the 3-1 loss to Liverpool in September.

Usually, young players must be integrated into the team, slowly nurtured so their confidence is not affected. Saka has defined all the odds since he burst onto the scene in 2018.

Sublime Saka

It is not nice to predict a player's future and guess how far they will it make it in the game because it puts unnecessary pressure on young shoulders.

I am not afraid to stick my neck on the line and say this boy will become an Arsenal great. Everything this boy does is with a touch of class.

Reasons to be cheerful No3: Teenage desire

Arteta has trusted his prospective youngsters this season. The latest graduate to show off his talent was Folarin Balogun, who was repaid his gaffer by scoring in the Europa League.

Saka could be the one to solve the problems looking ahead. Along with the likes of Martinelli, Gabriel and Kieran Tierney, the squad should be built around these guys. They care, they wear the shirt with pride.


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