Arsenal

Mikel Arteta must follow Emile Smith Rowe example to secure long-term future of young Arsenal star

Mikel Arteta’s line up for Arsenal’s Carabao Cup third round tie against AFC Wimbledon included plenty of surprises.

Among them was the inclusion of Thomas Partey ahead of the North London Derby on Sunday, despite the fact that the Ghanaian is still recovering from his latest injury set back.

Then there was the decision not to include highly rated youngster Charlie Patino in the squad at all and the benching of Calum Chambers, who has gone from the Gunners first choice to third choice right back in the space of about four weeks.

Probably the most shocking though was the choice to start Eddie Nketiah over Flo Balogun on the left side of Arsenal’s attack.

Initially it might seem that the strangeness of that selection comes from Arteta’s decision to play Nketiah on the left wing of his side’s 4-3-3 formation.

However, looking back on pre-season the England Under-21 international has actually played the position plenty of times and scored two goals from it.

Instead, the raised eyebrows that greeted the news came as a result of the contrasting contract circumstances involving both players.