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Arsenal's Youngsters Could Become "The Next Manchester United"

Ryan Sidle

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Arsenal's Youngsters Could Become "The Next Manchester United"

Arsenal's young forwards helped them progress to the Carabao Cup semi finals on Tuesday night, and Paul Merson thinks they could be the next Manchester United.

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The Gunners have been in good form in recent months, aside from losses to Manchester United and Everton, and are now in the top four, challenging for a Champions League spot.

On Tuesday, Arteta rested some of his first team players against Sunderland, in the League Cup quarter final, and Eddie Nketiah took his chance scoring a hat-trick.

Youngster Charlie Patino came on as a substitute and rounded off the scoring, in the 5-1 win, giving the 18-year-old the perfect first team debut.

Along with the scorers on the night, Mikel Arteta's team has looked very young all season, and Merson believes they could be like United's class of 92.

"There is some good things happening at Arsenal with the young players," the former Arsenal forward said on Sky Sports.

"You imagine if Nketiah gets in the team and then all of a sudden you have got [Emile] Smith Rowe on one side and [Bukayo] Saka on the other.

Patino celebrates his goal on Tuesday. Image: PA Images
Patino celebrates his goal on Tuesday. Image: PA Images

"Or they could have [Gabriel] Martinelli on one side and Smith Rowe dropping back.

"Those four players, and the young lad, Charlie, they could be for the next five, six or seven years at Arsenal.

"Who knows, it could be the next Man United."

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being linked with a move away from the club and Alexandre Lacazette's contract up in the summer, the young forwards' influence on the team is only likely to grow.

Nketiah's contract is also up in the summer, and there's yet to be a conclusion on where his future will be, and Merson thinks the striker should stay.

"My advice would be, I'd say stick here. Stick here for two, three more years. He's a kid, he's got plenty of years left," the ex Portsmouth player said.

"He's only going to get better and better. This is the place. You weigh it up. You probably go to a bottom half Premier League team. 

"...He should have faith in his ability that he will get a start for Arsenal. Just stick around."

Nketiah scores against Sunderland. Image: PA Images
Nketiah scores against Sunderland. Image: PA Images

Areta and Arsenal fans will really be hoping that Merson's prediction will come to fruition, with the Class of 92 being England's most successful era of academy graduates at a team.

Gary Neville, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville were part of Sir Alex Ferguson's successful team which won the 1999 Treble, as well as many other trophies.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Arsenal, Paul Merson, Premier League, Carabao Cup, Manchester United, Bukayo Saka

Ryan Sidle
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