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Mikel Arteta hints at gametime for Arsenal teenagers in PSV Eindhoven clash

Mikel Arteta has described the teenagers included in Arsenal’s travelling squad to face PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night as “three big prospects”, hinting at their involvement in the game.

Ethan Nwaneri, who became the Gunners’ youngest ever player when he made his first-team debut aged just 15 at the start of last season, and Lino Sousa and Reuell Walters, both 18, have joined up with the senior side for the Champions League clash in the Netherlands.

The fact that nothing is riding on the game – Arsenal have already secured their place as group winners – and a handful of injuries has seen Arteta opt to give the young trio an opportunity.

“We have certain needs in certain positions,” the boss explained. “Some, we decided because of the necessities we have and how we might use those players, so they were the best ones to bring.

“Three big prospects,” he added. “We want to bring a lot of players from a system and they deserve to be here. The circumstances have got them into this position.

Mikel ArtetaMikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta is open to using his young talents / Julian Finney/GettyImages

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“They’re still really young but we want to get them the experience because they have the talent to, hopefully, be very close to [the first-team].

“We’ll try to give them the opportunity [on the pitch against PSV] if we can, in the right moment.”

Arsenal are missing four players until the end of the year or well into 2024. Thomas Partey could return to action in between Christmas and New Year, although there are no certainties, while Fabio Vieira is out until late January and Jurrien Timber is a long-term absentee.

Takehiro Tomiyasu is not likely back in an Arsenal shirt until the second half of February due to recovering from a calf injury and expected involvement for Japan at the upcoming AFC Asian Cup.

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