Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has praised the quality of talent coming through the ranks at the club.
Eddie Nketiah got a hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Sunderland last night and Merson thinks that, if he can replicate the performances of the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka on a regular basis, the Gunners could well have a class of 92′ on their hands:
“There is some good things happening at Arsenal with the young players. You imagine if Nketiah gets in the team and then all of a sudden you have got Smith Rowe on one side and [Bukayo] Saka on the other. Or they could have Martinelli on one side and Smith Rowe dropping back. Those four players, and the young lad, Charlie [Patino], they could be for the next five, six or seven years at Arsenal. Who knows, it could be the next Man United.”
Merson is being ever so slightly hyperbolic with his comments comparing this group of talented Arsenal players with the golden generation at United.
Even so, Saka, Smith Rowe and Martinelli, in particular, are likely to be mainstays in the first team for quite some time. Nketiah’s future, though, is a lot less certain.
The 22-year-old’s contract at the Emirates expires at the end of the season and, while manager Mikel Arteta would like him to stay at the club, the forward looks like he will be leaving in the summer.