Unai Emery is no more.
Arsenal have officially confirmed the sacking of the now-former coach and have also announced that club icon, Freddie Ljungberg, will be taking over the squad as interim manager for the time being and until they find someone else to take over the torch.
Of course, we still have no idea what kind of a system will Ljungberg implement or what his prefered style is going to be but the Gunners have some really exciting talent in their team that could possibly emerge under the new coach.
So without further ado, here are three young talents that could potentially thrive under Ljungberg:
By this point, many are already familiar with the 18-year-old talent that has taken the stage by storm.
Martinelli is someone who’s already had some senior team experience and has also taken his chances with both hands. So far, he’s tallied 11 games under his belt for the Gunners in 2019/20 and has even managed to bag seven goals and two assists in the process.
If that was not impressive enough for an emerging talent, the fact that three of those goals came in four Europa League clashes definitely is.
Let’s also not forget that Jurgen Klopp himself showered the kid with praise back in October:
“He’s a talent of the century, he’s an incredible striker, so it’s really difficult.”
No further explanation needed on this one!
Another huge talent that only recently returned to Arsenal’s academy is the 19-year-old midfielder, Smith-Rowe.
Even though he hasn’t had as much exposure to the senior squad as Martinelli has, he is still a highly-rated player who could potentially reach for the stars in the near future if groomed properly.
So far, he has one goal and one assist in a total of nine games across all competitions, both in Premier League 2 and in the top-flight, with stints in Europea League and the Cup as well.
Unfortunately, his 2018/19 was very much foiled by injuries but now that he’s back in London and fit to go again, maybe he could make his mark under Ljungberg and show the talent that’s hidden beneath.
After all, this is the same kid who bagged 13 goals in 26 games for Arsenal’s U18 squad and five goals in 22 games for their U19 team, proving that there’s more to this youngster than it meets the eye.
Saka is another youngster who was given a chance under Emery and also one who immediately showed how good and talented he is.
Just like Martinelli, the 18-year-old winger’s displays in the Europa League were exactly what made him stand out from the crowd.
While his young teammate was busy banging in the goals, Saka was serving them on a silver platter, netting two assists and one goal himself in just three appearances in the tournament.
He also took part in six Premier League games and two Cup games, adding two more assists under his belt for a total of four across all competitions.
But the record of 16 goals in 26 games for Arsenal’s U18 side is also a big reminder of what he can actually do on that pitch.
Let’s see if Ljungberg feels the same way…