Another season of relative disappointment ended in Arsenal finishing second in the Premier League, knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16, and defeated in the FA Cup and League Cup in the sixth and fourth rounds respectively.
While Arsene Wenger will undoubtedly receive another summer of pressure from Gunners fans to improve the squad through budget-busting transfers from the European elites, the 66-year-old Frenchman would also be wise to direct his attention to Arsenal’s impressive youth squad for finding talent.
With academy scholars Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and Hector Bellerin all now integral parts of the Arsenal first-team, there is an indication that perhaps Wenger needn’t look too far for his next star.
Here are the FIVE youngsters to keep an eye on at the Emirates next season…
The brightest talent to come out of Arsenal’s academy in a number of years, Alex Iwobi has already had made a dozen appearances in the first-team and has continually impressed with his determination, skill and eye for goal.
The 20-year-old, already a Nigeria international, will likely get even more exposure next season. Should he continue to improve on his inaugural season, Arsene Wenger could well have a genuine star on his hands.
Signed from Legia Warsaw in January 2015, Krystain Bielik has since been one of the most impressive players in the Gunners’ academy.
Similar to Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira in style, the tall, elegant defensive midfielder made his first-team debut in the League Cup last season.
Expect to see more of the young Polish star in the coming campaign, especially if Arsenal don’t significantly strengthen in the centre of the park.
Daniel Crowley may not be the most prominent name on this list but he is certainly one of the most talented. After spending half of last season on loan at League One Barnsley, he was described by then Tykes manager Lee Johnson as “the best 18-year-old I’ve ever seen”.
Such a talent is Crowley, both England and Ireland youth coaches are in tug-of-war discussions to try and ensure that the youngster represents their nation.
However, Crowley has yet to make his debut for Arsenal and another loan to the Football League is likely to occur. This young man is definitely one to watch.
Signed from French Ligue 2 Arles-Avignon at the start of last season, Bennacer is a young midfielder who is considered one of the most adept passers of the ball in Arsenal’s academy.
The composed 18-year-old made a difficult debut for the Gunners – as a substitute in a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. However, his performances in the U-21 league has been undeniably impressive and he is now a permanent fixture in the French youth teams.
Expect Bennacer to feature in some capacity for Arsenal next season.
One of the most exciting talents in Arsenal’s academy, Vlad Dragomir has drawn comparisons with Tony Kroos for his passing and composure on the ball, however, he prefers to describe himself as a Mesut Ozil-type player.
So impressive were his initial performances at London Colney, Dragomir was asked to train with the first team.
It may be a while before we see the 17-year-old become a regular fixture in the Arsenal first-team, but he is fast becoming the most promising talent at the club and will likely feature in some ‘lesser’ games next season.