Arsenal’s young generation backed to become ‘new version of Man Utd Class of 92’

Arsenal could have the new version of the Manchester United Class of '92 with their young generation, according to Paul Merson.

The Gunners have not only recruited youthfully in the transfer market, but their squad also features a number of stars who have progressed through their Hale End Academy.

Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have become key men under Mikel Arteta, who gave 18-year-old Charlie Patino his debut for the club in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

The highly-regarded midfielder made an instant impression with a goal on his first appearance, in the process slightly overshadowing the hat-trick from fellow Academy graduate Eddie Nketiah.

With Arsenal clearly investing in a youthful approach, Merson has drawn comparisons to the famous crop of young stars Sir Alex Ferguson brought through in the early 90s.

"There are some good things happening at Arsenal with the young players," the pundit told Sky Sports.

"You imagine if Nketiah gets in the team and then all of a sudden you have got Smith Rowe on one side and Saka on the other.

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"Or they could have [Gabriel] Martinelli on one side and Smith Rowe dropping back.

"Those four players, and the young lad, Charlie, they could be around for the next five, six or seven years at Arsenal. Who knows, it could be the next Man United."

Arteta will be severely hoping he can indeed emulate the success Ferguson's approach had for the Red Devils.

David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Phil Neville all went on to become key figures for their club.

And crucially, they helped to bring silverware aplenty, which is exactly what Arteta is targeting.

It is still very early days for the Gunners youngsters, though, and they have a long way to go to reach the level of one of the greatest sides in English football history.

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