Gnabry, Olsson and Bellerin: Three Arsenal players to watch from the NextGen Series

The English side were impressive in their dominant display against Marseille with many players putting in good performances, and Goal are here to outline three promising young Guns
By Joe Doyle at Underhill Stadium

Arsenal got their inaugrual NextGen Series campaign off to the perfect start with a comfortable and commanding 3-0 win over a poor Marseille team on Wednesday night at Barnet.

In front of the watching Arsene Wenger, several young Gunners showed they were destined for more illustrious surroundings than the modest Underhill.

Nico Yennaris, who has already impressed at right-back against Manchester United in the Premier League, the undoubted stand-out player, dominated the midfield, but several less familiar names also demonstrated first team potential.


The winger has been talked up by the coaching staff at Arsenal, and showed why against the French side. His pace is a real asset, as he outstripped defenders to get to a poor pass from Marseille and set up the Gunners' second goal. He was a constant threat in the first half, playing intelligently and also spreading the ball well to the centre and opposite flank.

He arrived from Stuttgart last year, signing professional terms with the club this summer, and looked good value for a place in Arsenal's upcoming League Cup campaign.

Reserves manager Terry Burton was understandably cautious in talking up the winger too much, but told "He's certainly a quality player. How quickly they make that jump from where they are today to the dizzy heights of the Premier League, you never know.

"It could happen tomorrow, it could happen next month or next year, we just don't know. But all they've got to do is play well. And the one thing you do know is that at the Arsenal, they'll get the opportunity.

"So any players that are playing well and catch the manager's eye, he's prepared to give them a chance."


The central midfielder linked very well between defence and attack, finding team-mate Chuba Akpom on numerous occasions, and generally looked dangerous in and around the box.

The Swedish playmaker joined the club a year ago, but saw his first campaign blighted by injury. Now back in competitive football, the 17-year-old was in fine form, with one of his stand-out moments coming early on.

Receiving the ball from Hector Bellerin, a clever turn took past his marker and in a position to cross, though, unfortunately for Arsenal, Jon Toral was in an offside position when he turned the ball in.

The midfielder continued to impress in the second half, despite Arsenal's tempo slowing as they battled up the infamous Underhill slope. He duly delivered the best moment of the half, producing a well-angled through ball for Akpom to convert in the final 10 minutes.


The winger-turned-right-back arrived from Barcelona last year along with Jon Toral, and though the signing created something of a media buzz, a year on the hype has been forgotten.

But the Spaniard showed he could really have what it takes to make the grade with the Gunners. On two occasions he earned applause from the crowd by nutmegging opposition players. And he showed some fleet feet in the build-up to Toral's offside strike, finding Olsson in the box after good link-play on the wing.

Arsenal have a well-documented problem lack of depth across the defence in the first team, with Bacary Sagna currently recovering from a broken leg and Carl Jenkinson the only other recognised player in that area.

Despite his inexperience, he could genuinely provide cover for the first team, with his slick passing and acceleration, displayed on numerous overlapping runs, as a quality Wenger could call upon.

His attacking abilities aren't in doubt. He possesses quick feet and doesn't shy away from a tackle either, putting in a couple of hefty challenges in the second half.

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