Ten youngsters set to feature against Boreham Wood

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he intends to give several of Arsenal’s promising youngsters the opportunity to prove their worth in a first-team environment during tomorrow’s first pre-season friendly away to Boreham Wood.

The Frenchman intends to field an entirely different side in each half, as he used to during previous fixtures against Barnet, in order to assess the various players at his disposal.

Nacho Monreal is one of the senior players likely to be involved Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe

Nacho Monreal is one of the senior players likely to be involved
Clive Mason/Getty Images Europe

Twelve members of the first-team squad- Wojciech Szczesny, Carl Jenkinson, Abou Diaby, Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal, Yaya Sanogo, Gedion Zelalem and Francis Coquelin- are due to feature at Meadow Park, leaving ten spaces for U21 players.

If we are to judge by those who have been training with the first-team during the past couple of weeks then Damian Martinez, Hector Bellerin, Isaac Hayden, Jon Toral, Chuba Akpom, Ignasi Miquel, Kristoffer Olsson, Benik Afobe, Thomas Eisfeld and one of Semi Ajayi and Julio Pleguezuelo are set to be involved. It is not currently clear whether trialist Ahmed Fathi will play any part.

For Toral, it would be his first call-up to the senior squad, as it would be for either Ajayi or Pleguezuelo. The others all have some experience of the first-team environment and their aim will be to perform so well that they prolong their stay with the first-team this Summer, to Austria, New York, the Emirates Cup and maybe even beyond.

Ryo, Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry are all still recovering from injuries suffered last season, whilst most of the players who played at the World Cup, including new signings Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy, are still on holiday. Jack Wilshere is back at the training ground, and is likely to be joined on Monday by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla.

Joel Campbell, along with Sanchez, Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Thomas Vermaelen, should be amongst the next batch of players to return in time for the Emirates Cup, with German trio Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski granted extended time off after their success in Brazil.




  1. If he is going to play 2 different 11s who will the 4 centre backs be? Surely means miquel ajayi hayden and pleguezuelo. Unless Jenks is set to get a run out there or this fathi fella?

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Flamini is given a run out at CB. It’s not his best position but he is experienced and that could help the youngster he lines up alongside. So maybe:



      With Arteta & Coquelin taking turns at DM

  2. I see that a stream for this game is on Arsenal.com. Anyone know where/whether the New York game will be covered?

      1. At this stage, I think anyone with a shirt number higher than 27 (gnabry) is not a real genuine first team player.

        Shirt numbers 13, 21, 23, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32 and 33 are all available yet coquelin and zelalem get 34 & 35. Campbell has also yet to get one.

  3. Someone who seems the real deal in terms of having some access to internal info from club tweeted that only Zelalem and Akpom from the younger players will be going to New York. Can’t understand that as the only senior defenders to have trained yet are Monreal, Gibbs and Jenkinson.

    Wouldn’t have thought those who return to training this week (supposing some of Koscielny, Vermaelen, Debuchy and.. no, can’t think of any more, are returning for Monday) would be likely to play out there.

    Not seen him tweet many inaccurate things in the past, but I don’t see how he can be right this time. I’d have thought 2-4 young defenders will make the trip.

  4. Hopefully, we have some of our youngsters really impress this pre-season and force their way into the first team squad. Especially in the defensive area of the team where we have had no one really looking an heir to any of the positions.

    We could do with the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain,Jenkinson and to a lesser extent Gnabry really developing into reliable first team players. Looking at the vibe and shape of the team their is no shortage of people to help them or inspire them.

    This season I suspect we will see more of our youth in the Capital One Cup this year compared to years previous where we have played stronger squads.

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