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Arsenal: Top five rising stars

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Arsene Wenger is a man who has always been admired for his ability to spot a young player with the potential for greatness.

Arsenal's longest-serving manager has had a positive influence on the careers of many players, including the likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Cesc Fabregas - so who has Wenger earmarked as his next superstar?

Here are five of the Gunners' most talented youngsters.

1. Gedion Zelalem

"He is able to set the tempo like none other", high praise by his former Wildcats coach, Mike Williams from Walther Johnson High, in America.

The 16-year-old central midfielder of Ethiopian decent but eligible to play for Germany, has been one of the revelations of Arsenal's tour of Asia this summer.

Zelalem impressed with his fantastic technique; however, his most treasured asset has to be his ability to spot and execute devastating passes in the final third.

Gedion Zelalem dictates the tempo of a match with his impressive ball control and shows maturity which belies his age.

2. Serge Gnabry

Signed from German outfit VfB Stuttgart for only £100,000, this young German prospect may prove to be yet another future star signed by Arsene Wenger for a nominal fee.

Capable of playing on the wing or just off the strikers, Gnabry has impressed Arsenal's staff with his speed and dribbling ability.

The 18-year-old has already made his debut for the Gunners' first team and has also played in the Champions League. Blessed with a thunderous shot, the youngster boasts an impressive physique which should help him cope with Premier League defenders.

Already on the cusp of the first team and with Oxlade-Chamberlain out for three months, Gnabry may be given more opportunities to impress. Don't be surprised if he takes the league by storm.

3. Hector Bellerin

A precocious talent, signed from Barcelona's famed academy La Masia in 2011, this Spanish youngster has all the attributes to develop into a first-team star.

Signed as a right winger, Bellerin has been transformed into an attacking full-back at Arsenal.

His defensive skills have improved greatly since his arrival in north London; however, the youngster has not lost any of his attacking flair, providing numerous assists but also scoring goals for Arsenal's youth team.

He was arguably Arsenal's standout player in last season's Next Gen series youth tournament. With Bacary Sagna approaching the end of his career, Bellerin will compete with Carl Jenkinson for the right-back slot at Arsenal. Bellerin is better at going forward than the English right-back and his style will suit the Gunners' attacking play perfectly.

4. Chuba Akpom

With Benik Afobe being hampered by injuries, Chuba Akpom has taken up the mantle as the most promising forward in Arsenal's youth setup.

The powerful striker is capable of playing anywhere across the forward line and first appeared for the Arsenal U18's at the age of just 15.

His work rate and hold-up play are his main attributes; however, his knack of finding the back of the net is what has impressed the back-room staff in north London.

Akpom was also on the tour of Asia this summer with the first team and scored three goals to show that he has the ability to compete with the first team. With the arrival of Yaya Sanogo he may find his route to the first team delayed, but if he continues to score at the rate he has done for the second string, it wont be long before the England youth international makes a breakthrough into the Arsenal first team.

5. Dan Crowley

A recent signing from the Aston Villa youth team which won the Next Gen series, Crowley is undoubtedly one the brightest talents in English football.

At just 15, he has already played for the Arsenal reserves, impressing with his fabulous dribbling ability and close control. In fact, on his debut for the second string, Crowley played against players twice his age, but emerged as the best player on the field, assisting two of Arsenal's goals.

Comparisons with Jack Wilshere have already been made, although some argue that Crowley is more advanced than Wilshere as at this stage of his career.

One thing is for certain: Crowley has the raw ability to become an England and Arsenal star in the future if he continues to impress and develop at his current speed. 


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Topics:
Arsenal
Premier League
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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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