This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to Goal, Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has urged the club’s young stars to seize their opportunities during pre-season and show Unai Emery that he can rely on them during the upcoming campaign.
As Arsenal work on a limited budget this summer, Emery has chosen to field some of the club’s brightest young stars during their opening pre-season games.
Having come through the academy himself before making his name with the Gunners’ first-team, Parlour offered words of advice to those coming through now, and encouraged them to make the most of their chances.
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He said: “It’s so important for these young players to get an opportunity. The older of the younger generation, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, will get that opportunity to get into the first team. (Bukayo) Saka, who played on the left-wing has been very good.
“These guys have to put the effort in this pre-season, improve and try and show the manager that we can rely on you to go forward. I came through the ranks. Everybody needs that opportunity to show that you can be as good as you show in the pre-season.”
One look at Arsenal’s line-up during pre-season and there is certainly a case for there being a bright future at the Emirates. The north London side may be struggling to put together enough money to sign some of their first-choice transfer targets this summer like Wilfried Zaha, but on the pitch, they seem to have an abundance of riches at their disposal.
The likes of Willock, Saka and Eddie Nketiah, amongst others, have impressed greatly during the Gunners’ pre-season tour of the USA, and are certainly putting their cases forward for being given an opportunity when the proper action begins next month.
As the side continue to scour the market for reinforcements from elsewhere, Parlour’s statements should certainly be ringing in the academy players’ minds about just how important this summer could be for their potential long-term careers in the red half of north London.