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Since Jack Wilshere proceeded from the Arsenal academy to turn out for the senior team and England, the club is yet to churn out many who will follow the footsteps of the creative midfielder. Alex Iwobi is the latest academy graduate to have shown a glimpse of potential. But all that could be changing next season given the crop of the quality youngsters at the club’s disposal. Here are a handful of them most likely to feature next term provided they turn out impressive performances in the club’s pre-season.

GEDION ZELALEM

The U.S youth international is already a known name to some Arsenal fans after making his debut in last summer’s pre-season. He was then sent on loan to Rangers to gain more playing time. Having impressed during the short stint, the 19-year-old is back at the club side and he has another chance to impress in training and friendlies if he is to break into the first team next season.

KRYSTIAN BIELIK

The Polish youngster recently got converted to a central back despite starting out as a defensive midfielder. With the club still needing more backups in that department, the pre-season will afford the 18-year-old the chance to convince the coaching crew of his readiness for first team action. Provided he doesn’t make the final cut, a loan term awaits and he still has enough time to grow.

CHIORI JOHNSON

The highly-rated 18-year-old right back has Bellerin to look up to as inspiration, and training together with the Spain international could be of immense boost to his confidence. The under-21 star has a chance to audition for a place on the bench next season come Friday when the team lines up against Lens.

REISS NELSON

One of the promising stars from the Hale End Academy, the left winger is likely to get some pre-season action despite being 16 years. Though still very much developing and with next to little chances of making it to the main team, Nelson remains a big prospect and have what it takes to become an Arsenal starter in the near future.

STEPHY MAVIDIDI

Known for his domination of defenders, the England youth international striker has a keen eye for goals and has already featured in the first team training session. Having signed his first professional contract with the club, the 18-year-old is on the verge of breaking into Wenger’s squad ahead of the coming season.

CHRIS WILLOCK

The 18-year-old forward is said to be on Wenger’s book as far as a future with the first team goes, and has high chances of featuring in the pre-season. If he does well, he will sure get drafted into the senior team in order to continue his development proper.

MARCUS MCGUANE

Having already trained with the big boys on a number of occasions, the Irish teenager will hope to impress if given a chance in the few pre-season games. A key member of the under-18 team, Mcguane’s versatility in midfield and attack makes him a great asset and potential. The 17-year-old will attempt to be the next Alex Iwobi in the coming days.

Paul Koroma

I learned all about life with a ball at my feet. Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train. I play, and I repeat every single day.

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