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Arsenal have this week announced their first signing of the summer, with Sao Paulo youngster Marquinhos joining on a long-term deal in a transfer worth a reported £3m.

The Brazilian is one of the most highly-rated youngsters in the South American nation, and many Arsenal fans will be hoping Marquinhos replicates the form of a certain Gabriel Martinelli given the parallels between the two signings.

Whilst it is unknown whether Marquinhos will be sent out on loan or not, there is a good chance that the 19-year-old will turn out for the U-23s next season, with the teenager needing a period of climatization following this career-defining move to England.


Indeed, with Kevin Betsy departing the U-23s earlier this month to join Crawley Town, Arsenal’s most senior youth side is due for a huge change this summer. And with that in mind, what could the Gunners’ young XI look like for the coming season?

Taylor Foran and Lino Sousa are promoted as Hubert Graczyk takes No. 1 spot

Arsenal sign Marquinhos
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The defence and goalkeeping positions could arguably be the areas of the squad which see the most amount of change, with Omar Rekik set for a loan move to a professional club and Arthur Okonkwo and Karl Hein also likely to depart Arsenal on temporary transfers.

With that in mind, Polish youngster Hubert Graczyk is likely to take the starting spot between the sticks for the Gunners, with the 19-year-old starting the last few Premier League 2 games of the season for Arsenal.

In defence, Taylor Foran and Lino Sousa are likely to be promoted with Jonathan Dinzeyi and Joel Lopez leaving Arsenal at the end of this month, with the British defenders both impressing for the Gunners last season.

To complete the backline, England youth international Reuell Walters and Republic of Ireland youngster Mazeed Ogungbo retain their spots from last season’s U-23s.

Salah Oulad M’Hand remains with Mauro Bandeira joining the midfield

Arsenal sign Marquinhos
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Just like the defence, the midfield is set to see some huge changes, with Miguel Azeez and Charlie Patino likely to be fully promoted into the first team with Arsenal back in Europe via the UEFA Europa League.

Indeed, this competition will give many Hale End academy talents their first taste of senior football, yet for our XI, Salah Oulad M’Hand will be the one to remain in the U-23s, though there’s no denying that the Dutch youngster is ready to test himself in the first team.

Making up the rest of the midfield is U-23 regular Jack Henry-Francis and U-18 prospect Mauro Bandeira, a Portuguese talent who has been noted for his versatility in the centre of the park and his ability to play numerous roles.

Khayon Edwards starts alongside Marcelo Flores and new signing Marquinhos

Arsenal sign Marquinhos
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When it comes to attackers in the U-23s, Arsenal are extremely blessed with strikers Mika Biereth, Nikolaj Moller and Folarin Balogun all ready for regular first-team football, with wingers Kido Taylor-Hart and Omari Hutchinson also likely to go out on loan this summer.

This means that for Marquinhos, the Brazilian will be a cornerstone to an all-new Arsenal U-23 attack, with U-18s star Khayon Edwards, who bagged 16 goals last season and was heavily wanted by Chelsea, leading the attack.

Out on the left, Marcelo Flores, who made his senior debut for Mexico before playing his first minutes for Arsenal’s U-23s, takes the position, with the teenage attacker one of the most exciting prospects in this XI and another player who could already feature for the Gunners senior team next season in the Europa League or League Cup.

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