Arsenal: 5 stars of the future


Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday was a third-straight loss in the league for Arsene Wenger's side, and with things not going the Gunners way at present it would be easy to forget the progress the club has made under the Frenchman.

Wenger is renowned for bringing young players through the ranks in north London, taking academy prospects and moulding them into senior stars for the Gunners over relatively short periods of time.

And there is a handful of players just waiting for their chance to make the senior leap at the Emirates Stadium, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain showing the way to others after his inspiring performance against the Red Devils at the weekend.

Taking inspiration from his display, GiveMeFootball picks five others who are on the cusp of big things under Wenger, and could make an impacts sooner rather than later.

Nicholas Yennaris (Full back)

The England youth international has earned his big break in recent weeks, coming off the bench against Leeds in the FA Cup and United two days ago.

At 18, the versatile youngster is still eligible for the youth team, but appeared six times for Neil Banfield's second-string in last season's campaign.

Comfortable in central defence and midfield, the teenager is eligible to play for China or Cyprus as well as the Three Lions, and recently penned a contract extension keeping him at the club until the summer of 2013.

Oguzhan Ozyakup (Midfield)

A 19-year-old Dutch youth international, Ozyakup moved to the capital from AZ Alkmaar in 2008 and signed a contract extension at the Emirates last season.

Another junior plying his trade for the reserves, the teenager appeared 15 times at that level, and has since made two senior appearances as a substitute in the League Cup.

Technically gifted and most comfortable in a central midfield role, the No.53 skippered his country to the U17 European Final in 2009.

Hector Bellerin (Full back)

The Spanish teenager hit the headlines last summer, completing a controversial move from Barcelona to the Emirates alongside Jon Toral.

Whilst the first-team is someway off for the 16-year-old, his progression has been impressive for the English outfit, switching from a winger to right back and challenging for a regular place in Steve Bould's U18 side.

Schooled in the style of football often on show at the Nou Camp, Bellerin is technically gifted with great pace, and has previously been called-up to the Spanish international youth setup.

Chuks Aneke (Midfield)

An attacking midfielder who can also play in a deep-lying central role, Aneke joined Stevenage on loan in November, and has since agreed to stay at Broadhall Way until the end of the season.

The England youth international shot to prominence at the club after impressing at youth, and then reserve team level last term, becoming a regular for the second string whilst knocking on the senior door.

A first chance came in the League Cup against Shrewsbury earlier this term, and Aneke will be hoping to be in the fold for the Gunners next season after gaining senior experience in Npower League One.

Ryo Miyaichi (Forward)

Signed in January 2011, the anticipation surrounding the Japanese forward's potential impact for Arsenal has been huge, with the fires stoked during a successful loan period at Feyenoord last season.

Pre-season appearances on the tour of Asia suggested Wenger might look to involve the speedster in first team activities this season, although the Frenchman has only used the player sparingly in the League Cup.

An injury put him out of action in November, but the former Chukyodai Chukyo High School starlet will be hoping to get his chance to shine at some stage this season.

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