Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted he could turn to some youngsters who contributed to the gunners 100% win rate in the Europa League this season, to help change the fortunes of the team in the Premier League, where the North London club has struggled.
Arsenal defeated Irish champions Dundalk 4-2 on Thursday night in their Group B clash to earn the maximum 18 points. In stark contrast, Arteta’s side have lost five of their last seven Premier League games, finding themselves in a disappointing 15th position. Arteta has turned to a number of youngsters and fringe players in the Europa League, with the Gunners boss revealing that those who have taken their chances could be rewarded with improved game time in the Premier League.
The likes of 21-year old striker Eddie Nketiah, who started all six Europa League group games but has been waiting since early October for his next Premier League start. Joe Willock, Folarin Balogun and Emile Smith Rowe are others who have impressed in Europe. Speaking to the club’s website, Arteta said: “Now we have to forget about the Europa League because that’s in February. We need to focus strongly in the Premier League and in the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup when it starts in January”.
“We need everybody on board, we obviously have a large squad at the moment with players back from the injury, so we’ll have the opportunity to pick who is better in the moment and still rotate some players. But it gives us more options in the Premier League, to focus there and try and get the results we need,” he added. “Smith Rowe hasn’t played many games and he’s playing in a position that doesn’t suit him perfectly with his qualities. But you can see that every time he is around the ball something is going to happen. He has a lot of creativity, he’s a player who has the quality to receive the ball and do things in areas where there are high-value spaces after it gets opened.
“Balogun has done really well. Every minute he’s been on that field he’s been superb and he looked a threat again. He scored a goal and set up another one, and he looked really lively and mature on the pitch.” 19-year-old striker, Folarin Balogun went on to win the Man of The Match award against Dundalk.; Arsenal resume Premier League action on Sunday looking to move on from the North London derby defeat, when they host Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, 14th December.