Mikel Arteta is likely to stick with his senior players for Arsenal’s League Cup clash with Leeds United, according to a report.
Chris Wheatley reports that he’s been told Mikel Arteta wants to keep Arsenal’s momentum going on Tuesday night, and the club’s academy players are unlikely to be involved as a result.
The fact is that Arsenal can rotate their entire starting lineup for a whole new team of senior players and still have extra first-team players left over.
For example, if Nuno Tavares, Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White, and Takehiro Tomiyasu swap out for Sead Kolasinac, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding, and Cedric Soares, that still leaves the injured Kieran Tierney and Calum Chambers.
If Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Emile Smith Rowe drop to the bench for Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli, and Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun will still miss out.
Arsenal have such a large squad that there are more than 11 senior players left out of the starting lineup for any given game.
In those circumstances, it’s tough to give opportunities to academy youngsters even against lower league clubs. Let alone against the Premier League’s Leeds United in the last-16.
This was reflected in our predicted lineup, where we’ve suggested Arteta will make 11 changes for Tuesday’s game without including a youth player in the team. Based on Wheatley’s report, that seems likely.