Reuell Walters and Lino Sousa are still eligible to play for Arsenal U18s this season but instead the highly-regarded full-backs are with the first-team in Germany.
Both players joined Arsenal quire recently, with Walters signing in 2021 after spending a period out of the academy system, while Sousa was acquired from West Bromwich Albion in January.
They both featured in the opening friendly against Ipswich Town, with Walters benefitting from the departure of Zak Swanson, who has joined Portsmouth permanently.
Walters still faces competition from the likes of Hector Bellerin and Cedric, while it is possible that Brooke Norton-Cuffy could be involved when the first-team travel to the United States on the next stop of their tour.
Sousa, meanwhile, has a real chance to impress as Kieran Tierney isn’t yet fully fit and Nuno Tavares hasn’t started training after his involvement with Portugal U21s.
If they make an impact in the training camp in Germany as well as tomorrow’s game against Nuremberg, then Walters and Sousa could be set for further involvement with the senior squad this season.
One problem that both players face is that as they haven’t been at the club for two years, they are not eligible to be named on the B-List for U21 players in the Europa League this season. They could however take up a spot on the senior list if there is space.
There are similarities in playing style between both players as they are both good technically and relish pushing forward.
Sousa has slotted in seamlessly at U21 level and Walters also adapted quickly to the demands of second-string football.
Now they have an opportunity to push on even further and take a perhaps unexpectedly early step towards edging closer to the first-team squad.