Omari Hutchinson was among those to join first-team training this week, as Arsenal prepare to include an academy player in their squad to face Brentford.
Even if both Bernd Leno (Covid) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (injury) return to the Arsenal squad to face Brentford on Saturday, Gabriel Martinelli’s suspension means Mikel Arteta will still have an extra squad spot to fill with an academy player.
Against Wolves, Zach Awe was that player, making his first step up for Premier League action. But there are a few others seemingly in the mix to take Awe’s place this time around.
Hutchinson perhaps makes the most sense as a replacement for Martinelli, given he’s a winger. He’s also arguably the u23 player in the best form right now, and therefore the most deserving of an opportunity.
Hillson is a goalkeeper, so he won’t be filling one of the outfield roles. Then midfielder Bandeira is probably a little inexperienced to be involved, having mostly played u18 football this season.
If Mikel Arteta is looking to call up another defender, as he did with Awe last week, then that would be Ogungbo.
Regardless of which player gets the call, it’s going to be another opportunity for a youngster to be involved in the Arsenal senior matchday experience for a Premier League fixture.
There are certainly some drawbacks to the way Arsenal trimmed the squad in the January transfer window, but the additional integration of youth players with the senior side isn’t one of them.