So far Arsenal's pre-season has started brightly with consecutive seven-goal victories against Indonesia and Vietnam respectively. Although the senior players like Olivier Giroud have stolen most of the limelight, the younger academy players have not gone unnoticed either.

Arsenal already has a huge reputation for developing youngsters in the past, and have a good crop of young but seasoned professionals like Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey among others.

The aforementioned players are already known fairly well by the British public and as a result need no introduction. Hence, this article will only focus on players who are relatively unknown and play most of their games for the Arsenal reserves and academy.

Despite brilliant academy players like Benik Afobe, Hector Bellerin and Jan Toral not making the trip to Asia due to various reasons, there are a number of youngsters who are already showing glimpses of their potential.

Serge Gnabry, 18

The young German has been capped at U18 level and has already made four appearances in the Arsenal first-team last season. He came on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (another young player who needs no introduction) against Coventry in the League Cup for his debut, considering he was only 17, it is very impressive.

The player has mostly been used as a winger because of his immense dribbling ability and sudden burst of pace, which provides energy to the attack.

Amidst reports of Gervinho leaving (he was not picked for the Asian tour), combined with his direct play; Gnabry might just get a handful of games this season. Regardless of what happens this season he looks like a fantastic gem for the future.

Gedion Zelalem, 16

Another German who is actually eligible for two other nationalities (Somalia and United States) is highly rated in the Arsenal setup, which is made evident by his appearance in the reserves squad at the age of 16 (completely bypassing the U18).

He has been dubbed as the new 'Cesc Fabregas' thanks to his incredible vision and execution of passes that has been witnessed by all those who have watched Arsenal during this pre-season.

In a recent interview, Wilshere singled out Zelalem as a key player to watch during pre-season, which only tells us about his immense talent. Overall, Zelalem is lacking physically but more than makes up with his astonishing talent.

Chuks Aneke, 20

Admittedly, Chuks Aneke may not be the most obscure of players, but nevertheless is a very noteworthy prospect and has earned a place on this list. Having taken in loan spells at Stevenage, Preston North End and Crewe Alexandria, he has failed to impress during any on those stints at lower division clubs.

What makes him fascinating is that Arsene Wenger is starting to experiment him at the centre-back position. He is technically gifted but he's extremely slow and as a result cannot operate effectively in offensive positions.

With former Arsenal player Kolo Toure having played as a striker prior to his arrival at Ashburton Grove, it is very possible Aneke may become a defensive rock given his height and physique.

Chuba Akpom, 17

He became popular in the Arsenal setup mainly because of his appearance in the U18s while he was only 15. Since then, he's gone on to represent Arsenal at the U21 level while playing for England U17s.

 Due to his build and aerial prowess he has been able to bulldoze his way up the Arsenal and England ranks to become a key prospect for the future.

With Wenger's recent liking for tall forwards - which is obvious by the signings of Giroud, Marouane Chamakh, and Yaya Sanogo to name a few - Akpom has a genuine chance to succeed under the Frenchman's tutelage.

 

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