Arsenal: Mikel Arteta forced to consider 18-year-old debut vs West Ham

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /

Arsenal come up against West Ham United in the Premier League tomorrow evening. It’s an important fixture for the Gunners as they eye retaining their place at the top of the Premier League table, with Manchester City playing later on today.

Of course, Arsenal have a couple of defenders who will miss out on this fixture. William Saliba hasn’t been seen in training this week so it’s unlikely he’ll be involved in the match. Furthermore, we heard a few weeks back that Takehiro Tomiyasu is out for the remainder of the season, giving Arteta less defensive options.

Rob Holding and Gabriel are likely to start, as they have started together over the last number of weeks since Saliba’s injury before the international break. However, a new option has emerged for the Gunners.

Jakub Kiwior was brought off the bench against Liverpool to solidify the defence but ended up doing the complete opposite. If anything, with three central defenders, Arsenal looked even shakier at the back.

With that being said, 18-year-old centre back Reuell Walters has been called up to training for the second week, according to HITC. Walters is yet to make his Arsenal debut and it’s unlikely he’ll be thrown into a London derby with the club in need of a win. However, if he does impress in training, a place on the bench for the West Ham clash could be in store for Walters.

Jakub Kiwior’s place in the squad is far from cemented. He’s been given a few chances already and hasn’t done anything extraordinary to put him on a pedestal in this roster. With that in mind, Walters could seriously press for a spot, potentially in pre-season throughout the summer. We know that Arteta has developed a multitude of young players into stars since he took charge at the Emirates Stadium.