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New study shows that Mikel Arteta’s squad selections are putting rival clubs to shame

It’s hard to take many positives from this season for Arsenal, but if you were to ask supporters what the highlight from this campaign has been, the emergence of youth will likely be a popular answer.

As well as Bukayo Saka continuing to develop as one of the most exciting talents in the Premier League this season, the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Folarin Balogun have also emerged this year as promising talents with the Gunners, with the former being hailed as one of the key figures to stopping the rot in late-December after the creative midfielder started and starred against Chelsea on Boxing Day.

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My Revenge On Ben Foster

The emergence of young players from the academy this season has been one of the brightest sparks for Arsenal this season. A new study from the CIES Football Observatory has revealed that Mikel Arteta’s trust in youth is making the Gunners one of the most attractive teams in Europe for players under the age of 21.

The report shows that 11.3% of all Premier League minutes this season for Arsenal, the third-highest in the division, have been played by players aged 21 or younger, with Saka being an ever-present fixture for the Gunners this campaign and Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah also seeing a decent amount of playing time under Arteta this year.

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With the likes of Manchester United sitting on just 4.7% and Tottenham yet to even give a single minute of Premier League football to a player aged 21 or younger, Arteta’s faith in youth can only be admired given how important these young players have been for Arsenal this season and how well they have performed when handed the opportunity.

And with the likes of Balogun and Miguel Azeez set to have first-team roles with the Gunners next season, following a summer that could see the average age of the squad plummet, this already impressive stat could well increase for Arsenal and be seen as an encouraging sign for young players coming through the academy or being scouted by the Gunners.

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