For Pep Guardiola, the biggest challenge will be convincing his Manchester City players the Premier League title race is not over after Sunday’s win over their nearest rivals.
In Arsenal’s win over Molde in the Europa League, numerous young stars took centre stage, most notably Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Eddie Nketiah.
Arsenal have an extremely young squad. Let me tell you how well Arsenal are set up for the future.
Out of Arsenal’s first-team squad, there are only five players who are 30 or over and two of them (Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos) will not be at the club next year while the other three are David Luiz (33), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (31) and Willian (32).
So that means that 26 of Arsenal’s players are either in their prime or are about to be.
Bernd Leno will be Arsenal’s first-choice keeper for many years to come and he is only 28. Add to that Arsenal’s defenders in Gabriel (22), Rob Holding (25), Hector Bellerin (25), and Kieran Tierney (23), and Arsenal are set in defence for the next seven to eight years. You can even add Calum Chambers (25) to the list too.
Then there is Arsenal’s midfield. New signing Thomas Partey (27) and Granit Xhaka (28) will be Arsenal’s midfield pivots for many years. Then Arsenal have younger stars in Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock, Emile Smith Rowe and Dani Ceballos, even though he is on loan. All of them are under 25 years of age and you can see why Arsenal should be excited going forward.
Attack wise Arsenal are also in great shape, even if you count Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who are 29 and 31 respectively. Arsenal have an eye on the future with Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun.
Add that to Arsenal’s other attacking options in Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson, Nicolas Pepe, Emile Smith Rowe and forgotten superstar Gabriel Martinelli and suddenly Arsenal can see why the youth are forcing their way into Arsenal’s first team constantly. They are super talented.
Out of Arsenal’s 31 first-team squad players, only five of them are over 30 and that means Arsenal are extremely well stocked with supreme talent for the next decade. The only problem will be keeping a hold of them if a big club comes calling.
The Mikel Arteta revolution is now in full swing and it has been nothing short of amazing with what he has done in such a short amount of time and when you take into account how young the squad is, it makes it even more remarkable.
Exciting times are ahead for Arsenal fans. The club is slowly being turned around and Arsenal are making their way back to where they want to be. The spine of Arsenal’s team is in place and with Arsenal’s younger stars playing pivotal roles already in their young careers, Arsenal can only imagine how good this squad can be if given time.
With the amount of quality young stars at the club already, Arsenal can only be excited for what the future holds. If what has transpired since Mikel Arteta took over is anything to go by, then strap yourselves in because Arsenal are about to go on one hell of a ride.