The four players impressed during the pre-season campaign, so they will now advance to the senior Gunners squad
ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger has promoted four players from the Under-23 squad to the first team.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Cohen Bramall were all stand-out players for the Young Guns during this term’s pre-season action.
The four youngsters were given their time to shine during the Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Australia.
They evidently caught the attentive eye of the Arsenal boss in the run-up to the new term and will now reap the rewards.
Nelson, Willock and Maitland-Niles have all risen through the Gunners’ academy ranks from a young age.
Defender Bramall joined the North London club from non-league side, Hednesford Town, in January.
Whether the youngsters will chose to stay at the club for the season ahead is unknown, but this promotion to the main group will no doubt catch the eye of other Premier League clubs.
It is unlikely that the youngsters will cement an instant place in the starting XI, but this provides them a chance to get some valuable senior experience.
Nelson shot to prominence after bagging a brace in Premier League 2 last term, which helped the Gunners fight back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Derby County.
The teenage wide-man plays mainly at right wing-back, but also carries a ferocious threat going forward.
Wenger told Arsenal Player, “He’s a more offensive player, more a guy who can play as one of the three strikers or as an offensive midfielder.
“He’s more a player who likes the ball to his feet and provokes opponents by passing them.”
Maitland-Niles has excelled since signing scholarship terms four years ago and has tallied 10 appearances since.
He got his first taste of Premier League football last season with a short lived appearance against Sunderland.
The versatile 19-year-old is a natural winger, but he has been frequently deployed as a central-midfielder.
Arsenal’s number 30 played a pivotal role in England’s winning squad in the U20 World Cup earlier this summer.
Willock, who turns 18 this month, played a central midfield role during the pre-season tour of Australia and China.
The competition for a place within Arsenal’s well-knit midfield is tough, but the youngster has proved his ability in the middle of the park.
He made his U23’s debut during a 2-1 defeat against Sunderland in April.
When his scholarship deal expired in June, he was expected to leave. However, since then he was agreed terms and will stay at Arsenal.
Bramall played an active part in the first-team pre-season, but a potential loan move away from the Emirates has been discussed.
Following the arrival of Sead Kolasinac to the Emirates and Nacho Monreal’s decision to stay – there is tough competition for a first-team spot.
A number of Championship clubs have voiced their interest in the youngster.
However, Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam have been identified as the most likely landing place for him to develop his career.
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