In recent years at Arsenal Football Club, the helm of the starting eleven has developed not from the additions in the transfer market but also by the renowned Hale End Academy including the likes of Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and the recent England U21 international Folarin Balogun.
Today I will be looking at three players who could and should feature this season for Arsenal, and who to look out to make their important breakthrough into the first team whether it be in the early stages of the FA or Carabao Cup or the Premier League.
In the current Arsenal squad, there are two attacking midfielders in Martin Ødegaard and Emile Smith Rowe. In the latter stages of last season, Mikel Arteta was seen switching Bukayo Saka into the 10 roles or the attacking midfield role and moving Emile Smith Rowe to the left.
The Gunners can look to Omari Hutchinson, a dominant figure in the U23 side, picked especially for his brilliant dribbling and runs when in possession with the ball. At only 17 years of age, he is still eligible to play in the U18 side but will be prioritised to start in the U23 side where he is a reliable figure for goals and assists. In 3 starts so far in the PL2, he has 2 goals and 2 assists - an incredible feat to have so early on in this campaign.
For the U18 side in 2020/21 he played 20 matches with 7 goals and 7 assists total. Omari has already been called up this season to train with the first team in the brief Scotland preseason tour and will assuredly get many more opportunities shortly.
This should come as no surprise but if you have seen some U23 football in the last few weeks you would've seen Omari's incredible solo goal against Crystal Palace. In the three freeze frames I have clipped where Omari; a) throws off two markers at the halfway line with a swift shoulder feint to allow more space b) gets himself in a position by the edge of the 18-yard box with one marker in the way of the goal and c) with another shoulder feint this time to the left, he is clear of his final marker and neatly finishes into the top right corner. A beautiful individual goal to say the least.
The highly regarded winger penned a new three-year professional contract with the club in early August and is set to be one of the many talismans in the U23 side competing in the PL2. But with the recent outgoing of Reiss Nelson who is spending the season on loan in the Eredivise with Feyenoord, Arsenal's first-team wingers are currently Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli.
With the off chance that they need to be rested, Kido should be looked at to be called upon to start or make an appearance off the bench.
His technical ability on and off the ball makes him one of the most difficult players to mark in the PL2, as seen in the recent 2-1 victory over rivals Tottenham Hotspur on the 27th of August. The 18-year-old bagged a second-half brace scoring in the 58th and 71st minute to steer the Gunners to victory.
Kido can also play on the left-hand side, similar to Smith Rowe in a way but more direct down the wings. In his quest for first-team football, his start to the 2021/22 season has been successful with 3 goal involvements in only three matches. It's a sign of great things to come.
For Kido, I have looked at his second goal in the very recent 2-1 victory over Tottenham as previously mentioned. He comes over from the left and draws in his marker who was playing right-back meaning he can finish from a quick pass on the right.
This is not only excellent positioning but brilliant link-up play with Omari Hutchinson to know where and when he was going to play the ball to Taylor-Hart to finish.
The 17-year-old has been hyped a lot in the Arsenal social media world and was even labelled by a scout to be one of the most talented youngsters to ever be brought out of Hale End.
If there was one player that Arsenal fans would put their money on to make a first-team appearance it would be this man. Losing Thomas Partey to injury and Granit Xhaka to the suspension means that Arsenal requires a CDM/CM able player. Mohamed Elneny seems to be out of Mikel Arteta's plans with poor performances in the preseason games.
Charlie looks like the ideal replacement, but it is understandable why he hasn't been rushed in immediately. The midfielder has been with the club for 10 years now and it's only right that he will be playing regularly in the U23 squad and with a big chance of a first-team call-up.
He has also represented England but at the eligible U17 stage. Charlie regularly switched between the U18 and U23 sides in the 20/21 campaign, making four starts in the U23 squad with one goal.
I have looked at Charlie's only goal for the U23s in their 2-2 draw with Chelsea in the PL2 in February last year. His electric speed means he can latch on to the loose ball and fire it immediately first time, which was deflected but still managed to sneak into the back of the net.
The key thing in the two photos (apologies for the poor quality, I have used Chelsea's full match display to find the goal) is Charlie's positioning at the time to allow him to strike the ball at such a fast speed.
An honourable mention would go to Ben Cottrell who is not on this list but is another name that has a chance of featuring this season. The 2021/22 season still has a lot in store for Arsenal's talented youngsters, let's see who will breakthrough first.
Let me know your thoughts below and thanks for reading!