Due to the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League next season, Arsenal are unlikely to have the resources or pulling power to bring in the type of high profile signings needed to transform the squad.
Manager Unai Emery even hinted that the club may look towards the club’s academy in order to improve the team’s fortunes on the pitch:
“Our idea is to continue to carry on and improve with the young players that have arrived.”
So who could make the breakthrough into the club’s first team next season?
Emery is reportedly very keen to get pace on the wings this summer, and reports of interest in the likes of Lille’s Nicolas Pepe, Ajax’s David Neres and Rennes’ Ismaila Sarr does suggest a keenness to increase mobility on the flanks.
The Gunners boss may not need to look any further than Bukayo Saka to find a solution. The 17-year-old has pace to burn, is excellent in one on one duels and has a pretty decent delivery.
In 20 Premier League 2 appearances last campaign, he scored five goals and provided eight assists. He was also very good in the EFL Trophy, scoring once and creating two goals in four games.
Saka is also already in Emery’s thoughts, having made four first-team appearances for the Spaniard during his first season in charge.
Anyone who saw his impact after coming on in the Europa League final against Chelsea would be keen to see more of the 19-year-old in action.
He is a creative central midfielder, who can also play in deeper or more advanced roles. If Emery is seeking a homegrown replacement for Aaron Ramsey, Willock has certainly made his case.
The teenager scored in the 3-0 win against Vorskla back in November and scored twice in the FA Cup victory versus Blackpool at the beginning of the year.
The 20-year-old has been tipped to make the breakthrough into the first team for quite a while now, but despite having been named in the matchday squad for 19 league games last campaign, he didn’t start a match.
Nketiah gave a telling reminder to Emery by scoring his first league goal against Burnley on the last day of the season in the 3-1 win. He is certainly in contention to be Danny Welbeck’s replacement in the first-team squad.
The winger had a superb start to his time in Germany with Hoffenheim but it must be said things tailed off by the end of his loan spell.
Back issues and a thigh problem played their part in that, though, and seven goals and one assist in 29 first-team appearances does show a lot of promise.
Despite Alex Iwobi’s excellent goal in the Europa League final, Nelson could rival the Nigerian for a place in the starting line up next season.