With Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles now making fairly regular appearances for the first team, we’re looking at who might be next in line.
Reiss and Ainsley have made seven senior appearances, most of them starts, whilst Joe is on five with three starts.
But who is most likely to be next?
1. Eddie Nketiah
Eddie is the obvious choice, considering how he’s done for the team so far. With the u23s Eddie has three goals and two assists in seven games this campaign, and with the senior team he has two goals in just under an hour of football. Plus there’s the four he scored this week with England.
However, he still hasn’t been given a starting spot. Unfortunately, there’s quite a bit of competition up front, especially with Danny Welbeck now returning from injury, so Eddie might have to wait a bit longer.
2. Josh Dasilva
Another who has made a couple of substitute appearances but who hasn’t yet received his first senior start, Josh was recently nominated for Premier League 2 player of the month.
— PL Youth (@PLYouth) November 3, 2017
More than that, the 19-year-old’s versatility could be an important asset for the side, as he’s played both on the left and at the back this season, and at central midfield in the past.
But if he does get a start, I’d like to see him line up on the left. That’s his usual position for the u23s now, and it’s where the Gunners need back up. It would also allow Maitland-Niles to play in the middle, his best position. In six youth appearances at left wing-back this season Josh has one goal and four assists.
3. Jordi Osei-Tutu
Similar to Dasilva on the other side, Osei-Tutu is the youth team’s regular right wing-back, and is only being kept out of the first team by another youth player (Reiss Nelson) playing out of position.
Nelson plays at wing-back because he looks like a bright prospect and that’s the only way he can fit into the team without Walcott or Wilshere being dropped, but Osei-Tutu actually plays that position regularly and has been performing well for the youth teams.
If the Gunners can top the group in their fifth Europa League group game, I’d love to see Nelson moved forward into the front three for the dead rubber against Borisov, and Osei-Tutu given a chance behind him.
4. Marcus McGuane
McGuane has captained the u23s on a couple of occasions this season, and has made two brief substitute appearances for the first team. He plays at centre-back or centre-mid for the youth teams, and was reportedly the subject of interest from Juventus and Manchester United earlier this season.
Marcus has also captained the u18s in the past, and has a strong physical presence. So the step up to the senior side shouldn’t be as much of a leap as it sometimes is for less physical players or players without any leadership experience.
5. Ben Sheaf
Finally, Ben Sheaf has only played one minute for the senior side so far, but he’s also been named on the bench a couple of times and could be involved before long.
Sheaf played mostly as a centre-back last season, and like McGuane he captained the u23s on multiple occasions.
Sheaf is a tough tackler and gifted on the ball, and will likely compete with McGuane if a spot at the back does become available.