Arsenal’s next 4 wonderkids in line to continue Mikel Arteta’s youth revolution

The Gunners are currently reaping the benefits of how a top-tier academy system can one day come in handy for first-team matters as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe continue to shine

The Gunners are currently reaping the benefits of how a top-tier academy system can one day come in handy for first-team matters as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe continue to shine

Few teams in the Premier League currently boast a better academy set-up than that of Arsenal’s famed Hale-End production line.

The Gunners are favourites in the eyes of many to snag the coveted fourth spot come the end of the season, which in turn would seal a return to the Champions League for the first time in five seasons.

If they are to achieve such a feat, it will be thanks in no small part to the efforts of academy graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.

The Hale-End duo are Arsenal’s current leading Premier League scorers with nine each, while both also have another goal to their names in the Carabao Cup.

In what will make for welcome news in the eyes of the Gunners fanbase, the club are fairly confident the emergence of Saka and Smith Rowe will not be a fluke given the new generation of talent about to emerge.

Mirror Football has taken a look at four of Arsenal’s academy wonderkids to see who is the most likely to follow in the footsteps of the current Gunners fan-favourites.

Charlie Patino

Few academy prospects have amassed such fanfare before actually kicking a ball at senior level, but a chorus of ‘Oh Charlie Patino’ rung out around the Emirates before his debut off the bench against Sunderland in the quarter final of the Carabao Cup.

The 18-year-old did not disappoint and scored with what was effectively his first touch as an Arsenal first-team player to send the stadium into raptures.

Patino has previously been described as the most talented player to emerge from the Gunners’ academy since Jack Wilshere – high praise and big boots to fill.

Footage of the teenager scoring a wondergoal against Manchester United U-23’s did the rounds, the effort made all the more impressive given he made two England internationals in Phil Jones and Dean Henderson look like amateurs in the process.

Manager Mikel Arteta has previously explained how the club need to “cook” Patino slowly, ensuring he is not overawed by the bright lights of first-team football at the highest level.

“[Too much hype around him] is what we have to avoid. He still has a lot of competition in front of him. He is really young. And he needs to go step by step,” Arteta claimed.

Omari Hutchinson

Much like his teammate Patino, Hutchinson is already relatively well-known to Arsenal fans thanks to the power of the internet.

When he was just 12-years-old, a video of Hutchinson freestyling with the ball went viral as fans simply could not believe someone so young could be in possession of such elite ball control.

Six years later and Hutchinson is now regularly named in match-day squads for the Gunners, though he is yet to actually make a first-team appearance.

A number of fantastic goals and performances at youth level have certainly put him on the radar of the more vigilant Arsenal fans always on the prowl for the next prospect.

The 18-year-old has often found himself named among the substitutes for Premier League games this season and could potentially make his debut should one of the few attackers ahead of him pick up a knock before the end of the campaign.

Salah-Eddine Oulad M’Hand

The Dutch prospect spent the bulk of his early years in the Netherlands before joining Arsenal as a free agent in August of 2020.

Upon completing the switch, Salah said: “It feels great to join a massive club like Arsenal.

“It’s a good environment for me to work on my development and hopefully through the academy I can become a first-team player.”

He is well on course to achieve his ambition, with Salah already named on the bench for the first-team clash at home to Leeds United in the Carabao Cup back in October.

Pressed for comment on why he named him among the subs, Arteta said: “rewarding him – for what he does every day in training and the games that he’s playing, for his attitude and the quality he has – he totally deserves to be with us.”

Operating primarily in the number eight role, Salah can be known to pop up with a decent number of goals over the course of a league season.

Marcelo Flores

Flores has actually donned the shirt of three different nations at youth level after featuring for both England and Canada’s U-16’s and U-21’s respectively.

The teenager was the talk of Mexico after his showings at the 2021 Revelations Cup and has replicated that kind of form in an Arsenal shirt since his return.

A regular for the U-18’s, it is widely expected to only be a matter of time before he makes his way up the ranks and into the U-23’s before eventually tasting first-team football in north London.