Hale End is the future for Arsenal, with several youngsters already breaking into the first-team and more still to come.
Life over in north London has been painful for any Arsenal supporter. Gone are the days where the club challenged for silverware on all fronts, with even top-four finishes out of reach. But even during these grim times, hope persists.
The Gunners have welcomed a host of youthful prospects from their famed academy in Hale End recently. They’ve all made big impressions so far, giving fans hope of a better tomorrow.
While academy manager Per Mertesacker, who played in the Arsenal defence himself between 2011 and 2018, has promised Mikel Arteta more ‘headaches’ for next season by supplying more youngsters.
So here on Ronaldo.com, we give you the top 5 academy players who could get their big break soon.
It’s surely only a matter of time before the 19-year-old makes his senior debut.
John-Jules had already made the bench a few times this season before sealing a January loan move to Lincoln City, where he’s made seven starts for the League One outfit. The striker scored in only his second game.
“I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen from him in training,” said Gunners boss Arteta via Football London.
“I really like him.”
Smith has impressed for the Under-23 side this season starring as both a defensive and central midfielder. He’s made 12 appearances in Premier League 2, providing a goal and three assists.
The 19-year-old’s best performance was arguably against Everton U23s, where he bagged a goal and assist to salvage a comeback 3-3 draw.
After coming through the ranks from the age of seven, Smith signed his professional contract last year. He’s determined to prove his worth and has every to believe in his chances.
The teenager can provide goals, score them, rarely makes mistakes, can press and tackle when needed.
The 17-year-old midfielder has made a great impression in the Arsenal youth ranks. He has made 12 appearances for the U18s and broke into the U23 team before the season got cancelled.
Azeez, who has also broken into the England youth set-up, signed his first professional contract at Arsenal just days after his 17th birthday.
Because of interest from clubs around Europe, the Gunners slapped three years on his contract and an option to extend it by another 24 months. This is actually uncommon for a teenage prospect.
The New York-born striker is arguably one of the most exciting Hale End products and potentially a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang successor. So it’s worth keeping an eye on this one.
Balogun’s stats this season in Premier League 2 say it all, with 10 goals and four assists in 15 games.
The 19-year-old also bagged an impressive 38 goals and eight assists in 41 appearances for the U18s, proving himself as a goalscoring talent.
We wrap this Arsenal youngsters list with Jordi Osei-Tutu, who has just returned from a season-long spell at German club VfL Bochum.
The right winger, who can also play as a right-back, started 16 of his 21 appearances in the German second division. He performed well for Bochum on route to an eight-place finish.
Honourable mentions: James Olayinka, Ben Sheaf, Tolaji Bola and Zech Medley.