Paul Merson believes that Arsenal could follow Manchester United’s “class of 92” in bringing through a number of quality youth players to the first team and being successful for a number of years.
The Gunners have seen the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli become established first-team players, with the Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun and now Charlie Patino also getting game time in the senior squad.
Nketiah scored a hat-trick, taking his tally to five League Cup goals in three matches so far in the competition.
Patino also had an impact, adding Arsenal’s fifth of the game from the bench on his debut. The 18-year-old’s late run and finish in the box was well celebrated by the Gunners contingent, who had earlier chanted his name before he entered the pitch.
Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, former Arsenal striker and pundit Paul Merson believed that the Gunners can replicate the success of Manchester United and their academy.
The Red Devils had years of success under Sir Alex Ferguson, with the branded “class of 92” a big reason for the early years.
A number of talented players came through that year, with David Beckham, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville all going on to achieve great things in their careers.
Discussing Arsenal’s youth, Merson said: “You hear great things with this kid [Charlie Patino], and I mean fair play to Luton you know, you hear he comes from Luton’s academy so a lot of credit to them.
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“He’d have been there at a young age, you know and learned the game at a young age there and then Arsenal have come on and taken it over.
“There’s some good things happening at Arsenal, young players, you’d imagine if Nketiah gets in the team and then all of a sudden you’ve got Smith Rowe on one side and Saka on the other or Martinelli and Smith Rowe dropping back.
“I mean those four players and the young lad Charlie could, they could be the next five, six seven years at Arsenal. Who knows, it could be the next Man United.”