Youngsters Gedion Zelalem, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Stefan O’Connor all came on for the Gunners in Turkey.
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Hot off the conveyor belt six of Arsenal’s finest academy products were named by Arsene Wenger on the bench for the Gunners last group game against Galatasaray.
Whilst neither side might not have been putting exactly 100% into the tie – Arsenal were already qualified and Galatasaray already knocked out – the match was the perfect opportunity to provide game-time to the Gunners next big prospects.
Of the six youngsters; Gedion Zelalem, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Stefan O’Connor were the lucky three that took to the field in the second half and whilst Arsenal fans may be frustrated with their team at the moment, the three substitutes provided optimism that they may have something to cheer about in the future.
CaughtOffside analyses their performances.
Place of Birth: Germany
The highly regarded youngster, who has seen comparisons with Cesc Fabregas since he burst onto the scene in Arsenal’s 2013 pre-season tour, came on at the break replacing Mathieu Flamini.
It was Zelalem’s first match for the Arsenal first team since a run-out against Coventry in the FA Cup in January and despite the limited competitive chances, Zelalem looked typically classy on the ball.
Composed and comfortable but strong and robust, the 17 year old provided control at the base of Arsenal’s midfield completing over 90% of his passes and committing just one foul.