How Arsenal could line up using just the kids – but are any of them ready for the Premier League? – The Sun

ARSENAL'S young players impressed in their 2-1 win over Bayern Munich on Wednesday night, so can we expect to see them feature in the Premier League?

So far in pre-season, they have been the driving force behind two consecutive victories.

Despite the dreadful end to last season, the Gunners are beginning to gather some momentum amidst the doom and gloom.

They may be yet to make a significant signing but some fans argue major investments aren't always necessary when the academy is producing such promising players.

A youthful side kicked off their tour of the United States by beating Colorado Rapids 3-0, teenagers Bukayo Saka and James Olayinka joined on the scoresheet by newboy Gabriel Martinelli.

And it was Eddie Nketiah grabbing the headlines in Los Angeles by netting the late winner against Bayern.

With plenty of pre-season games still to come, these kids are set for more chances to impress Unai Emery.

Here, Sun Sport evaluates how ready the youngsters are looking.

Matt Macey, GK, 24

The goalkeeper spent last season on loan at Plymouth Argyle and was selected for the full 90 minutes against Colorado.

Although he kept a clean sheet, the Bath-born shot-stopper is set to be third in the pecking order behind Emiliano Martinez and Bernd Leno – relying on the Argentine pushing to leave before he gets a shot in the side.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, RB, 21

Emery handed Maitland-Niles an impressive 30 matches amid Hector Bellerin's injury last time out and he's set to remain the Spaniard's backup once he returns to full fitness this year.

While not hugely convincing against Munich, he should still have the edge on Calum Chambers and Carl Jenkinson in the race for game time.

Unai Emery on Arsenal's youngsters

"We have the responsibility with the young players to give them chances and we want also to use different young players to help us.

"They are going to be with us in the pre-season and some players are also going to be with us in the season. Each match, each minute they can show their performance like today.

“We need them for the moment but also in the future.

"Our responsibility at this club for the history, for the present and for the future is to have young players with the possibilities to take chances.”

Zech Medley, CB, 19

A first-choice pick in the Under-23s, the centre-back managed a couple of senior appearances last campaign in the Europa League.

Yet to be stress tested against a top side, Arsenal may prefer to send Medley down the leagues to gain experience.

Tolaji Bola, CB, 20

Reportedly given a provisional squad number at the start of pre-season, Bola may be in Emery's thoughts for the upcoming campaign.

However he is yet to feature in the States due to a gradual comeback from injury.

Dominic Thompson, LB, 18

Another to feature versus Rapids, Thompson earned plaudits for his link-up play and has even been capable of playing central midfield in the past.

And the left-back will be high up in the queue if Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac are stepped down for the more straightforward matches next season.

Joe Willock, CM, 19

The fact Emery held Willock back for the Rapids game and unleashed him against Bayern was a clear sign of intent.

The midfielder was brave up against the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Corentin Tolisso, putting himself right in the mix for a Premier League squad role – especially given Arsenal's lack of depth in that area.

Robbie Burton, CM, 19

Emery admitted after Wednesday night's game that he didn't really know much about Burton until Freddie Ljungberg rose from the academy to the senior side's staff.

While the coach was impressed when he came off the bench, he may need to go on loan with Willock evidently ahead of him in the pecking order.

Reiss Nelson, RW, 19

A much-publicised loan spell at Hoffenheim brought Nelson to fans' attention and the forward is one of many examples why the Gunners' academy is better at producing attackers than defenders these days.

The England Under-21 international can expect to get a good shot at game time to prove himself, at least in the cup competitions.

Tyreece John-Jules, ST, 18

The attacking midfielder is one of few players to feature in both the tour games thus far, and even managed to assist the winner versus Bayern.

It followed up a starring performance in the reserves' clash with Boreham Wood and the fact Arsenal have six more friendlies to come should play into his hands.

Bukayo Saka, LW, 17

Emery was reportedly told to focus on bringing through talents like Saka when signing Denis Suarez on loan in January.

Perhaps the Spaniard will finally get the message after his goal in Colorado led to fans dubbing him the "New Messi". No pressure.

Eddie Nketiah, ST, 20

Having shot to prominence a couple of years ago, the striker's rise settled down somewhat but is now picking up momentum.

A goal on the last day of the season at Burnley was matched by his strike past Bayern, but with the imperious Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette ahead of him, a loan move may be best.

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