by Lewis Ambrose
The transfer window remains open until the end of August but Arsène Wenger will give his young stars the opportunity to influence his decisions in the market.
A number of young players have travelled to Singapore with the first-team for the Barclays Asia Trophy and will be given the chance to make an impression during the game against Singapore Select XI on Wednesday. The Arsenal manager intends to take the game seriously, but that doesn’t mean the youngsters won’t get a chance.
“For us it’s important because it’s a football game and the best way to test where you stand in pre-season is to see how far you are and how quickly we can find our game back,” said Wenger on Tuesday.
“As well it’s a good opportunity for me to give a chance to players who are on the fringe of the team and to see how close they are to contributing. That can influence my decisions before the transfer market is over.”
Young players Gedion Zelalem and Chuba Akpom are already well known, and fans will be excited to see a bit more of the highly-rated Dan Crowley, Chris Willock, Jon Toral and Alex Iwobi.
Reports on Tuesday even said that Wenger is willing to stick Akpom in the first-team squad this season as cover for Olivier Giroud. The Arsenal manager has been linked with a number of ‘elite’ strikers but if a deal does not happen there may well be space for one more player.
With Yaya Sanogo heading out on loan to Ajax, Akpom may take that place in the squad and would be used more often than in previous seasons as Wenger looks to blood the teenager into the first-team.