Arsenal FC: The Top 10 Young Players at the Club
Arsenal might not have produced any silverware in the past six years, but they produce some of the world's finest footballers. And if there is one person who can scout young football talent like no other, that person is the one and only Arsene Wenger. He has developed players such as Ashley Cole, Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry to some of the world's best.
Now it's a new era at Arsenal, and Wenger will once again look to his youth system to help get Arsenal back to the top of English Football.
Let's take a look at the 10 best young talents (under the age of 21) currently playing at Arsenal.
Not all can make the coveted Top 10. So here is a list of the players who missed the cut.
Kyle Bartley (CB)
Chuks Aneke (MID)
Oguzhan Ozyakup (MID)
Benik Afobe (ST)
Carl Jenkinson (RB)
Joel Campbell (ST)
Now, let's begin!
10. Henri Lansbury
Can Lansbury break into the first team?
Henri Lansbury, who is currently on loan at West Ham, has the potential to became a great player at Arsenal. He has a great skill set such as goal scoring ability and great vision.
But, he hasn't been able to break into the first-team at Arsenal because of the treacherous competition that is the Arsenal midfield.
Lansbury has been loaned numerous times to clubs in the lower division. Last year, he had an impressive loan spell at Norwich, and was vital in their promotion to the premiere league. He also captains the U-21 side for England and has a bright future at Arsenal.
9. Ignasi Miquel
Miquel is climbing up Arsene Wenger's pecking order at CB
Another one of Arsenal's Barca boys, Ignasi had a more different road than his other Spanish compatriots. Miquel started out at Barcelona at the age of seven, but was released from the club five years later and then joined Spanish minnows UD Cornella.
The centre back shined and many clubs were looking for his signature. Fortunately, he joined Arsenal at the age of 16 and has impressed many ever since he arrived in London.
He is very tall and physical and reads the game very well. He still needs to work on his positioning, but he is on a fast track to the Arsenal first team.
8. Hector Bellerin
Bellerin was one of the youngsters Arsenal were able to snatch away from the clutches of Barcelona. I believe Bellerin is the right man to take Bacary Sagna's place once he decides to hang up his boots.
Bellerin is a highly gifted footballer, with a great skill set and technical ability. One thing Bellerin is able to do very well is assist his teammates on the attack by providing great service into the box. Expect Bellerin to break into the squad within the next year or so.
7. Francis Coquelin
Coquelin looked impressive against Shrewsbury Town
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Coquelin has surprised many including myself with his quality performances this season. A naturally gifted footballer, Coquelin is a threat to the opposition on both sides of the ball. His passing and distributing of the ball is superb as well as his ability to make tackles and interceptions in the midfield.
Coquelin has a tall task at hand because he will have to compete with the likes of Alex Song, Emmanuel Frimpong and Abou Diaby for a spot in Arsenal's starting XI. But if he keeps on performing at the same level that he has recently, then he should have a great chance of breaking into the first team.
6. Jon Toral
Another youngster United were able to steal from Barcelona, Jon Toral was probably the best player in the Barcelona Academy. Drawing comparisions to Cesc and Xavi, Toral has great vision and wonderful touch on the ball.
But one thing he has over those two other guys is his size. Toral is 6'3" and is a threat in the air. A lot of his goals that he has scored has come off his head. Toral also has a knack for getting into the box at the right time and being able to position himself well to get goals.
With the right nurturing from Wenger, Toral can have the same success as Fabregas for the club.
I wouldn't be surprised to see him partner up with Wilshere in the midfield in the near future. Those two would easily draw comparisons to Xavi and Iniesta. Keep an eye out for Toral gooners.
Fun Fact: Toral is half-English since his mom is from England and his dad is from Spain.
5. Ryo Miyaichi
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Ryo Miyaichi has a lot of promise and bags of talent. He was signed by Arsenal after impressing Wenger during his trial at the club. Wenger was convinced of Ryo's raw ability and thought it was necessary to sign him before any other clubs could have the chance.
Once signed, he was the loaned to Feyenoord to get some first team football. Feyenoord who were in the relegation zone, were in desperate need to turn their season around and then Ryo arrived. Ryo single-handedly got Feyenoord out of relegation and wowed many during his loan spell with the club. The Dutch media drew comparisions of Ryo to Ronaldinho and nicknamed him Ryodinho.
Ryo continued to impress many during Arsenal's Asian tour and was granted a work permit which allowed him to stay at Arsenal.
By being compared to the likes of Messi and Ronaldinho, a lot of Arsenal supporters can't wait to see what he can do for the club.
4. Emmanuel Frimpong
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Frimpong has already become a fan favorite in his short time with the first team.
Frimpong looked very impressive in last year's Emirate Cup before he suffered an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament, which sidelined him for the season. However, he would come back this year even stronger and better.
His style of play his very energetic. He is very physical, strong on the ball and is very quick. He has been compared to fellow Ghanian teammate Michael Essien, which shows why us Arsenal supporters are very excited for the future of this player.
3. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Position: Attacking Midfielder
After many people criticized Wenger for paying a fee of around £12 million for Chamberlain, the kid is silencing the critics with his recent performances.
Chamberlain follows the path of his fellow Southampton predecessors, Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale. After an amazing season with his former club, Chamberlain joined Arsenal, which to him is a dream move.
Already Chamberlain has the media buzzing about how good he can be with his performance for the England U-21 team and his recent performance for Arsenal in the Carling Cup.
Chamberlain can play on either side of the field. He has a high football IQ, is very quick and confident on the ball. He also has a great shot.
Chamberlain in my opinion is one of the building blocks of the future for Arsenal and the English National Team.
2. Aaron Ramsey
At the age of 20, Ramsey is already the captain for his national team
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Position: Central Midfield
There is only one Aaron Ramsey.
After joining Arsenal, Aaron Ramsey did not make an immediate impact for the Gunners, but was beginning to show his true potential for the club.
But then it happened.
In a game against Stoke, Ramsey's career took a dead stop when a dangerous challenge from Ryan Shawcross caused his leg to break.
But being the fighter that he is, Ramsey was able to recover from his injury and has looked impressive since his return.
There is a lot of pressure on Ramsey this season. He is expected to fill in the space left by Cesc Fabregas. With Jack Wilshere partnering right beside him, Ramsey should have a successful time with the club.
1. Jack Wilshere
Arsenal's future captain: Jack Wilshere
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Did you expect anyone else?
Jack Wilshere has become the face for the future of Arsenal as well as England. Jack is touted to be the best player in these newest crop of English players. In my opinion, I think Jack is the best footballer under the age of 21 in the world.
There is nothing Jack can't do. He is the complete midfielder. It doesnt matter if you play him in the holding role, or in a attacking role or even on the wing, Jack will still perform at the highest level and get the recognition that he deserves.
Jack Wilshere is instrumental to the future of Arsenal FC.
Jack Wilshere is the man Arsenal wants to captain their team in the future.