Rekik, Azeez and the other Arsenal youngsters pushing for first-team involvement in pre-season

Having already discussed the possibility of youth goalkeepers being involved in Arsenal’s pre-season plans, attention can now turn to other areas of the pitch.

One player who will hope to play a prominent part in proceedings is Omar Rekik. The centre-back’s Arsenal career has yet to really get going due to injury but he is now fully fit and ready to make an impact.

With Gabriel set to represent Brazil at the Olympics and William Saliba poised to go on loan, this pre-season could be an excellent chance for a Rekik to showcase his credentials.

There may also be room for another centre-back at some stage in pre-season. Despite being just 17 years old, Zane Monlouis is a candidate for involvement but Alex Kirk, who is slightly older, has trained with the first-team on many occasions and could be called upon. Harry Clarke could be loaned out again.

Left-back is another area in which the first-team could be short of options with Kieran Tierney having represented Scotland at Euro 2020. Sead Kolasinac is still at the club but his future is uncertain so Joel Lopez could be called up, even though he could be loaned out before the transfer window closes.

Miguel Azeez, who made his first-team debut last season, will hope to receive a significant amount of playing time in pre-season.

Another midfielder, Charlie Patino, is just 17 but is very highly rated within the club and this could be a good opportunity to get him more involved with the squad.

Catalin Cirjan’s development didn’t go entirely to plan last season but he remains talented and will hope to at least train with the first-team. James Olayinka could go on loan again but could be an option for some games in pre-season.

Ben Cottrell has been made available for loan but he could train with the first-team in the coming weeks.

Winger Omari Hutchinson has barely featured for the U23s but, such is his quality, will be in contention for involvement. If Kido Taylor-Hart stays then he too would be under consideration for inclusion.

Arsenal are likely to have most of their attacking options available for pre-season but it’s possible Tyreece John-Jules could get some playing time before going on loan again.

Overall, Mikel Arteta will have a lot of options to choose from as he looks for youth players to fill the gaps in his squad for the first couple of weeks of pre-season. The youngsters will be motivated by the prospect of being included in the squad to travel to Scotland.


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