Meet Arsenal prospects: Okocha's nephew, a former Barca starlet and a future England striker

On paper, Arsenal only squeezed through to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup on penalties after seeing off West Brom at the Hawthorns.

But a closer look at the Gunners squad for the trip to the Midlands shows that manager Arsene Wenger is once again looking to the future as he selected a number of his up-and-coming youngsters to feature at the Baggies.

Below is the lowdown on the kids hoping to eventually take the Arsenal first team by storm.

Isaac Hayden

The strong centre-back made his full Arsenal debut against West Brom but future appearances could see him feature in a more advanced role as the 18-year-old can also play in midfield.

Hayden is now more comfortable in defence than the midfield role where he started his career with Southend, and he has been capped by England at Under 19 level.

Ryo Miyaichi

One of the more familiar names in Arsenal’s line-up at the Hawthorns, but Miyaichi’s appearances in a Gunners shirt have been few and far between.

Since joining in 2011 from Chukyodai Chukyo High School in Japan, the pacey midfielder has had successful loan spells at Feyenoord and Bolton but stumbled last season as injuries slowed his progression at Wigan while on loan.

Arsene Wenger still sees talent in the Japan international though who made his Premier League debut after coming off the bench in the 3-1 win against Stoke last time out.

Thomas Eisfeld

Eisfeld spent seven years of his career in the academy at Borussia Dortmund but by the time he joined Arsenal for just under £400,000 in 2012, his only notable career feature was picking up an unfortunate cruciate ligament injury in 2009.

Since then the 20-year-old German has fully recovered and has made two appearances for the Gunners – including scoring the opening goal at West Brom. Previously the attacking midfielder made his debut after coming off the bench in last season’s 7-5 League Cup win at Reading.

Serge Gnabry 

Gnabry has enjoyed a quick rise up the Arsenal ranks since joining from VFB Stuttgart as a 16-year-old in the summer of 2011.

Since then the pacey and technical winger has been capped by Germany at Under 19 level and has made six appearances for the Gunners including his first Premier League start in the recent 3-1 win against Stoke.

Gnabry is one of Arsenal’s brightest youth prospects and can expect to feature in a few more matches this term – despite missing his penalty in the shoot-out win over the Baggies.

Hector Bellerin

An extra-time substitute for Mikel Arteta at the Hawthorns, Bellerin joined Arsenal from Barcelona two years ago where after starting out as a winger he made the transition to an attacking full-back.

The 18-year-old’s appearance at the Hawthorns was his debut for the club which he joined on the basis of being guaranteed first team football in the Premier League.

Chuba Akpom

Akpom may have only came on as a late substitute at West Brom but big things are expected of the striker who has made a promising start to his career.

The powerful 17-year-old only made his Arsenal debut in the 3-1 win at Sunderland earlier this month but is already a key feature in the England Under 19 squad where he has scored six goals in just eight games.

Having been with the club since he was a child, Akpom will hope to continue his progression up the ranks and break into the first team where he can play comfortably anywhere across the attacking line.

Kristoffer Olsson

Made his debut after coming off the bench in the 84th minute at West Brom, the Sweden youth international had little chance to make an impact but did score in the shootout when Arsenal’s Capital One Cup place looked most vulnerable.

The 18-year-old impressed on trial from IFK Norrkopings two years ago before leaving his native land for north London.

Alex Iwobi

Reduced to watch the Hawthorns action from the bench, but having only turned 17 this year there is plenty of time for Iwobi to make his mark at Arsenal.

And if he is anything like his uncle then the Gunners have an incredible talent on their hands. Born in Nigeria but having represented England at youth level, Iwobi is the nephew of former Bolton and Nigeria star midfielder, Jay-Jay Okocha.

A capable winger or playing just off the striker, Iwobi’s strengths see him being able to pick a creative pass as well as scoring goals.

Credit: Dan Ripley/SportsMail


  1. the future is bright for Arsenal :)

  2. Young gunners, nice
    Am impressed with Gnabry's performance in the first team, Walcott's absence helped him to showcase what he's made of. Good

  3. Gooooood. Gnabry, Akpom and Eisfield will surely turn to great stars. Wtach out haters


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