The kids are alright; Arteta calls on academy graduates in matchday squad against Brentford


The kids are alright; Arteta calls on academy graduates in matchday squad against Brentford

Arsenal has gone with youth to kick-off their 2021-22 Premier League campaign as boss Mikel Arteta has placed his face in the kids tonight, including multiple Hale End academy graduates.

The Gunners look to hunt for honey at the Brentford Community Stadium, with Folarin Balogun leading the line in place of both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette unavailable through illness, while Eddie Nketiah is sidelined through injury.

Highly-touted Belgian U21 international Sambi Lokonga makes his expected full debut for Arsenal after a summer move from RSC Anderlecht after Thomas Partey picked up a nasty injury in their pre-season friendly against Chelsea, while both Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli are both also included in Arteta’s XI to face off against Thomas Frank’s Brentford outfit.

The kids are alright; Arsenal academy graduates feature heavily in matchday squad against Brentford

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli (right) celebrates with Mohamed Elneny after scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 19, 2021. (Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/PA Images via Getty Images)

The available bench consists of quite a few academy graduates as well with Karl Jakob Hein being preferred to Arthur Okonkwo as the back-up keeper on the night, while Héctor Bellerín Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, and Bukayo Saka are all available to come off the bench whenever Arteta will see a need to make changes throughout hostilities. Nuno Tavares makes the matchday squad as well after his summer move from SL Benfica.

It may not be a superb bench for Arsenal regarding a balance of options, though if changes are needed throughout proceedings, the likes of Saka, Nelson, and Tavares certainly can provide a massive injection of pace should the Gunners need to shake things up after half-time.

For last-minute betting predictions for tonight’s match, go here

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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