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Ranking young prospects by superstar likelihood

PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND – MARCH 02: Eddie Nkethia of Arsenal is congratulated by team-mates after he scores a goal to make it 2-0 during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Portsmouth FC and Arsenal FC at Fratton Park on March 02, 2020 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Arsenal have one of the best crops of young players in world football. But which are the most likely to become true superstars? Here, I rank them.

Arsenal have one of the most talented crop of young players that they have ever produced. From those that they have developed through the academy to their smart scouting and acquiring of high-potential young players from around the world, the Gunners have a group of highly talented players who are worth investing in. But which are the most likely to make superstardom?

Here, I rank which players are most likely to be future stars.

Arsenal, Joe Willock

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 27: Joe Willock of Arsenal
controls the ball during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Bournemouth AFC and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on January 27, 2020 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

7. Joe Willock

Joe Willock will turn 21 years of age this summer. After showing glimpses of being a first-team player for Arsenal, including replacing Meust Ozil as a substitute in the Europa League final that felt like a statement substitution, but in reality, those that will make it as a long-term starter have established themselves a key parts of the rotation by 21 years of age.

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Now, Willock is very talented. He is a unique ball carrier, able to burst from midfield into offensive areas of the pitch, and has that knack for making late runs into the penalty area to gets shots off at goal, create chances, and provide another option to feed in the final third — his four goals on the year are an illustration of this.

However, his touch is loose at times, his passing is inconsistent, and he is somewhat positionless in Mikel Arteta’s system, not quite fitting as a number 10 or a deeper-lying option in a double pivot. Without consistent starts, and now beginning to reach an age at which he should be playing regularly, questions must be asked whether superstardom beckons.

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