Four Arsenal academy graduates in line to be involved against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup
Arsenal set for Carabao Cup action
Arsenal are looking to make it four wins on the bounce as they return to the Emirates Stadium to take on League One outfit Sunderland in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup.
The Gunners have impressed in the last week, taking three points against Southampton and West Ham at home, before travelling to Elland Road to put four past Leeds United, and cement their spot in the top 4 until Christmas in the process.
🎯 The pass
🍟 The finish
👂 The celebration
Perfection, @GabiMartinelli 😍#LEEARS pic.twitter.com/nrwQCCM7UV
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 19, 2021
Sunderland, meanwhile, are flying high in League One, sitting just outside the automatic play-off places at half distance, and stand a great chance of making their way back into the Championship this time around.
The Gunners, who have won their previous three fixtures in the competition by an aggregate of 11-0, will need to bring their best in order to get a result on Tuesday evening.
But could it prove an opportunity to blood some youth players too?
Four academy players in the mix
Ahead of the encounter, four of Arsenal’s most impressive academy graduates have been spotted training with the first team, with no U23s game until at least the 7th January.
Charlie Patino, Salah Oulad-M’Hand and Omar Rekik could all be involved with the first team for the first time tomorrow evening, while Folarin Balogun, named November player of the Month in the PL2, was also spotted.
Rekik in particular could be asked to step in, with Pablo Mari out through COVID-19, and Mikel Arteta potentially keen to rest his first-choice pairing of Gabriel and Ben White.
Charlie Patino, Folarin Balogun, Salah Oulad and Omar Rekik among the youngsters training ahead of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup match against Sunderland. #AFC pic.twitter.com/qcSgsjGHmH
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) December 20, 2021
The four would add further youth to an already young side, that includes Gabriel Martinelli (20), Emile Smith Rowe (21), Bukayo Saka (20) and Martin Odegaard (23), and could be in line for a first taste of action as they step off Arsenal’s seemingly never-ending Hale End talent conveyer belt.