Arsenal boss suggests 4 teenagers will feature in FA Cup clash with Blackpool

By on January 4, 2019

Unai Emery has suggested that Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock will feature for Arsenal against Blackpool on Saturday evening.

We head to Bloomfield Road at 5.30pm tomorrow night in the third round of the FA Cup and the boss has confirmed he’s ready to give some of our youth players a chance to impress.

Emery has been dealing with a lengthy injury list in recent weeks with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal, Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi all set to miss out this weekend.

With so many players unavailable, the boss has seen his squad stretched to it’s limits and he’s confirmed Saka is set to be given a chance against Blackpool tomorrow after making his Premier League debut off the bench against Fulham in midweek.

The 17-year-old is a huge prospect and has impressed during Europa League appearances against Vorskla and Qarabag already this season so it will be exciting to see what he can do tomorrow evening.

Emery is hopeful Saka can go on to have a big career at Arsenal and he suggested the likes of Smith Rowe, Nketiah and Willock will also get a chance to impress against Blackpool as he looks to rotate in the FA Cup following a busy festive period.

Emery told Arsenal.com:

“I am using different players because of injuries, but it is important for us to give chances to the young players,”

“The young players, like Saka, he has debuted in his last match and he was playing because at the moment we haven’t a lot of players who have the possibility to play wide right or wide left.

“Saka is in the academy, growing up with good performances. It is the beginning, I hope, of a long career here in Arsenal.

“He is improving a lot and, although he is very young, he is training with us and understanding our tactics with the other players. He is coming with us on a lot of matches and living our moments with the team.

“Now he starts to play in the games and also in the Premier League. He is going to have a career but we need to help him also with a strategy for this.

“We have other players the same – Emile, Willock, Nketiah – we need to give them chances while thinking about a good performance with a good combination [in the team]. On Saturday I am going to think like that.”

It’s great to hear Emery is ready to give the teenagers a run out in the cup and we should also see the likes of Petr Cech, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Mohamed Elneny and Aaron Ramsey featuring against Blackpool.

However, I hope we don’t field too much of a weakened side as Blackpool will give us a tricky game and there are always shocks in the FA Cup. Let’s not forget we crashed out to Nottingham Forest in the third round last year.

Emery also doesn’t have any previous experience in the FA Cup so let’s hope he isn’t taking the task too lightly as the FA Cup is a great competition and perhaps our best chance of silverware this season.