Arsene Wenger names Arsenal starlets who will make Gunners team next season
The Arsenal boss believes Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Eddie Nketiah to command a regular spot in the Gunners squad
Arsene Wenger has tipped Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Eddie Nketiah to become regulars in the Arsenal first-team next season.
The Gunners boss started Maitland-Niles for Arsenal’s 3-1 loss to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday night.
The 20-year-old has made 14 appearances in the Premier League in the current campaign to impress in the Gunners side.
Nketiah came off the bench in their 3-1 loss at Leicester to make his third appearance of the 2017-18 season ahead of Wenger’s exit.
Arsenal are in sixth spot in the Premier League table and 12 points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool FC in the Premier League table.
The Gunners boss is set to stand down at the end of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign following another disappointing season.
Speaking to the club’s website about what Gunners starlets will command a place in the Arsenal first-team next term, Wenger said:
“I would say Maitland-Niles, certainly, from the young players, and Nketiah, certainly, and then it depends who will come in – you have Willock and of course Reiss Nelson,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website.
“Will they get a chance or not or will they go somewhere on loan? The next manager will have to decide that after pre-season. Nketiah has that quality to score goals and overall I think he might get a chance very early. The two others have the quality as well.
“We all are great admirers of Ainsley’s talent and of his quality. What you want from him is for him to push himself. When he digs a little bit more than he naturally would like to, you will see a fantastic football player and I hope that next season will confirm that.
“I am convinced there is something special in this team that will come out next season. There’s one or two things to change but this team has special quality – mentally and on the football front. I will really support them next season because I think they can surprise everybody.”
Arsenal lost 3-0 to Premier League champions Manchester City in the League Cup final at Wembley earlier this season.
The Gunners signed Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the January transfer window.
Arsenal are set to miss out on a top-four finish for the second successive season.
The north London side lost 2-1 on aggregate to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League this term.