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The 3 young players who are ready to be starters

(Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal have one of the brightest crops of young players they have ever had. As they push for more minutes in the senior team, here are three candidates who are ready to be regular starters.

If you are good enough, you are old enough. That is how the old adage goes. And in the current make-up of both the Arsenal senior squad and the talent they have coming through from the youth ranks, that has never been more accurate. At some point, the player has to transform from young prospect to consistent starter, and the Gunners have several on the verge.

With this in mind, here are three young players who are ready to be regular starters next season.

For full transparency, I have considered the following XI as the current ‘first’ XI in Mikel Arteta’s mind: Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Kieran Tierney; Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, Mesut Ozil; Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 21: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal celebrates towards the Arsenal fans after scoring a goal to make it 1-1 during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge on January 21, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

3. Gabriel Martinelli

No one could have anticipated just what impact what Gabriel Martinelli would have when he arrived from the fourth tier of Brazilian footballer in what was considered a wild roll of the dice on a highly-scouted young player. Martinelli has blown any thoughts of what might be possible out of the water.

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Jurgen Klopp called him a ‘talent of the century’. David Luiz echoed that sentiment: “When I saw him I say ‘Woah,’” he told Ian Wright and Addidas. “Not just as the talent as a footballer but his mentality. He wants to improve, he wants to learn. He knows he has the opportunity of his life. He wants to change his status, he wants to be part of the team, part of the club. This is very important for players today.”

Martinelli is Arsenal’s second-highest scorer in all competitions, has performed well in the Premier League when handed the opportunity, including that brilliant goal versus Chelsea when he ran from penalty box to penalty box, and brings a relentless mentality that the Arsenal attack could do with. He is ready to start and could be the long-term replacement for Aubameyang or Lacazette.

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