3 Arsenal youngsters to replace Sanchez, Cazorla and co


The injury to Francis Coquelin in the defeat to West Brom in mid-November had already restarted criticism towards Arsenal for a failure to address their lack of squad depth in the defensive midfield department.

Now, the hamstring problem sustained by Alexis Sanchez in the 1-1 draw with Norwich has brought about questions bemoaning the lack of Gunners’ squad depth as a whole.

Sanchez has already played 24 matches for club and country since August 9th.

Arsene Wenger is certainly pinning a lot of hope in a small number of individuals for the next month, with Laurent Koscielny and Santi Cazorla suffering injuries in the Norwich draw. This is a dangerous game given that Joel Campbell is the only Gunners outfield player not to have been sidelined at some point in 2015.

This is the current list of Arsenal’s injuries in midfield and attack:

Coquelin, Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck.

Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are far from match-fit themselves, having literally just recovered from injuries.

Arsenal remain 4/7 to finish in the top two of the Premier League this season, but to do so, they may be relying on some young attacking Gunners to make an impact through the current injury crisis.

Here are three that could be handed some pitch time in the coming month:

Jeff Reine Adelaide

The 17-year-old striker has been an unused substitute for each of Arsenal’s last three matches in all competitions and made a name for himself down the left side in the Emirates Cup clash with Wolfsburg during pre-season.

His Gunners progress has stalled in recent months after picking up an injury in an under-21 game and then representing France at the under-17 World Cup.

With Sanchez out, Adelaide could be the logical replacement down the left side.

Dan Crowley

Crowley spent the opening months of this season on loan at League One Barnsley, with manager Lee Johnson calling him perhaps the best 18-year-old he had ever seen and a future England international.

He was Arsenal’s top scorer in the UEFA Youth League last term and was captain of the club’s under-18 FA Youth Cup side.

Here is a goal Crowley scored for England under-19s. Is it just us that sees a slight resemblance to Luka Modric?

Ismael Bennacer

Bennacer’s stock dropped slightly after being one of the youngsters that failed to step up to the mark in the 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season.

He has good experience having played in the second tier of French football with Arles-Avignon last term and scored a memorable long-range goal against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Youth League earlier this campaign.

Bennacer is a capable dribbler and intelligent passer. Playing him in the wide areas could potentially free up Ramsey or Oxlade Chamberlain to drop into a more central role.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.