Arsenal’s first Europa League match of the season, against Ukrainian side Vorskla Poltava at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening, is a great opportunity for Unai Emery to use his squad to its fullest extent.
With the Gunners heading into the game as strong favourites to claim victory, the manager should feel comfortable with a little squad rotation for this match. New signings Lucas Torreira, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bernd Leno could all be in line for their first starts at the Emirates Stadium.
Beyond them, some of the Gunners’ most talented youngsters ought to be in contention for inclusion. Amongst that contingent is midfielder Joe Willock. The 19-year-old made his senior debut for the club last season and finished the campaign with 11 outings under his belt in all competitions.
So far, in the early stages of his first team career with the North London club, the England under-19 international has shown himself to be very tidy and composed in possession and to be a hard worker on the pitch.
Emery should take this chance to further develop one of Arsenal’s bright young prospects by handing Willock a starting berth against Vorskla, even at the expense of a more senior option.
What do you think, Arsenal fans – should Willock be included from the off against Vorskla or should Emery prioritise handing minutes to more experienced members of his squad?