Emery makes young player pledge as Nketiah states case for Arsenal

By Matt Dorman 18 July 2019 697
Emery makes young player pledge as Nketiah states case for Arsenal

Unai Emery vowed to give high-performing youngsters a chance at Arsenal following Eddie Nketiah's late winner against Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup.

England Under-21 international Nketiah converted at close range in the 88th minute in California to give the Gunners a 2-1 victory over the German champions.

Nketiah, 20, also impressed in the recent 3-0 friendly defeat of Colorado Rapids and could be set to add to eight his Premier League appearances, all of which have come as a substitute.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson, fresh from a productive loan spell at Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, were among the others to win meaningful minutes at Dignity Health Sports Park.

"We have a responsibility with young players to give them chances," Emery told reporters.

"We want to use different young players to help.

"Some players will be with us in pre-season; some players will be with us in the season. Each minute they show their performance against big players. For example, the [duel] Nketiah [won] against [Niklas] Sule.

"Today was very positive. Against Colorado Rapids a lot of young players played. We need them for the moment but also in the future.

"Our responsibility in this club for the history, present and future is to give young players a chance."

Homegrown prospects could prove especially useful amid doubts over Arsenal's spending power, with teenager Gabriel Martinelli the only addition of the close season to date.

Freddie Ljungberg's promotion from Under-23 head coach to first-team assistant should expedite their emergence and Emery praised the Swede's "very positive" start to his new role.

"With Freddie we are working," the former Sevilla boss said.

"Above all he's helping us with the young players because he knows every young player better than us."

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