The 10 players who will make a real impact next season: the short list

In our Untold Awards we have looked at which Arsenal players will break through next season and hold down regular first team slots.

So let us start trying to get the list down in size…   We are talking of players who will really make some sort of impact next season who were not central this season;

1. Ryo

2. Oxlade Chamberlaine

3. Jack Wilshere

4. Frimpong

5.  Joel Campbell

6. Abou Diaby

7;  Francis Coquelin

8. Podolski

9.  Jenkinson

10. Benik Afobe

The list has been drawn up by Walter and myself while doing a tour of football stadia in Antwerp today.  We have certainly missed someone.  Please tell us who.


60 Replies to “The 10 players who will make a real impact next season: the short list”

  1. The two obvious ones missing here are Eisfeld and Ozyakup. I would put those two in before Frimpong and Afobe.

    Gnabry is very well thought of, but is probably a year or more away still.

  2. oh you idiots really got a clue, lmao. What a disgrace of Arsenal blog you are. Support the stupid lord Wenger mugs.

  3. The number of WUMs (Wind Up merchants) has increased recently on this site. I urge everyone to please not respond to them; that’s the only way to stop them.

  4. @arsenal4ever
    what’s the rest of the score? Presumably …ton0 ?

    back to reality:

    Is the list in order of likely impact?

    I am not qualified to comment really but (never mind that, that doesn’t stop most people :p), it seems to me that Ryo is a bold No.1. Other than that – I’ll keep schtum and say it will be interesting to watch 🙂

  5. @ Arvind they don’t make WUM like they used to *sign* I miss RJagger!

  6. I’d say Ox and Podolski have the most potential. Imo Wilshere will struggle to adjust after long injury absence and post Cesc team formation. Arsenal fans need to be really patient with Jack next season.

  7. @ Tony/Walter – if those 10 listed become regular first team starters, as opposed to just playing a part of the 12/13 campaign, I wonder who they will be replacing.

  8. I would say Oxlade Chambo and Afobe(being are 2nd striker after Chamack leaves)to move up.I expect Ryo and Campbell to play in cup matches mostly and few games for rotation process. Poldi,Jack,Couqlin are obvious first team starters. The player that will make most impact from this list is our only inseista/xavi mould Jack Wilshere.

  9. Bendtner. Ha, that would be something.

    Seriously, if RVP leaves (which he won’t), I can see Nicklas suddenly wanting to stay because he has a serious chance at becoming the #1 striker.

  10. I want all of them to perform but after reading a testimonial of a Bolton critic, he thinks Ryo still needs work and Jacks constant injury is keeping him out of the game for too long he will take time to settle in same goes for Diaby. I like to see Campbell and Eisfield on the bench atleast. They seem promising.

  11. Ryo really hasn’t been all that special at Bolton if you had paid attention, he started well but fell in and out of form, like any young player would – I’m not saying he’ll flop next year but pinning hopes on him is painfully naive – he probably needs another year on loan. This is just the type of hyper the fans should ignore as it leads to disappointment.

  12. Diaby and Jenkinson???? I’d put Ozyakup and Yennaris before them!
    Ryo and the OX for sure!
    Gervinho possibly.
    What about Jack Wilshire??? Fit and healthy after all the injuries?
    Podolski is an unknown quantity in the prem but only time will tell.

  13. I am not sure if they were listed in order of likelyhood or not. It is a good point about who they will be replacing though?
    Taking that on board, surely Francis Coquelin stands at the head of the queue? Although Diaby may make it a lot tougher if he can hold it together? In the early part of the season that pair will replace Wilshere as he works his way back, ahead of Ramsey, and sadly, Yossi. Then there is the AFCON again, where we might lose Song this time around? Although if Frimpong is not on loan, he would be a possibility. Then you have the opportunities when Arteta or Rosicky are injured …. So clearly FC has the best chance of the youngsters.
    Of the others, I think RYO and EISFELD will be the next to battle for the wide left spot, whenever AOC and WALCOTT are not on at the same time, and also, depending on formation(and dare I say it, personnel?) how wide Podolski will play?
    The Ox and Podolski are going to get the most starts, and probably early on, Jenkinson.
    The early rounds of the Cups are where the likes of Ozyakup, Afobe, and perhaps Gnabry and J Campbell, but they are going to have be ready to strut their stuff early if they are not all loaned out in the second part of the season. I should like to add Yennaris to the list, just in case Jenks has any further problems.
    That’s my tuppence worth …well may be a bit more?

  14. @ Deshola – agreed, I like Gervinho’s game. He lost a little bit of the directness he had in the begining, which I hope he gets back. With RVP on such fire he provided and started focussing on delivering the pass to Robin, but with a little more calmness in front of goal, they will start going in for him. In the very least his ability to recieve a pass and put pressure on opposition defenses is a very useful counter attacking outlet.

  15. Ryo is a very good player, but he lacks the physical strength of the Prem. Therefore, I would move him down the list because, despite his massive potential, he needs to spend a lot of the summer in the gym.
    The only thing that I would say about Firmpong is that he needs to get his attitude right. He should be focusing on football not his T-Shirt and Rap career.
    Diaby has great potential, but I think that if he continues to get injured he needs to be sold.
    Podolski I am worried about simply due to the Bayern situation, but, if this blip was simply down to too much too young, then hopefully he can do for us what he did for Koln this season.
    Lastly, Jenkinson needs to step up next season. He is and will be a very good player, my only worry is that he won’t develop fast enough to deal with another Sanga incident. Fair enough Coquelin can play there too, but that’s just a waste of talent.

  16. This is one of the few things that i learnt at Untold. And it’s my favorite. Always look inside rather than looking outside.

    It’s easy to say that this player who will come at xx amount will make an impact and is no different than saying that player that we already have will make the same impact. Only difference is perspective. Untold has provided me that perspective. One of the underrated innovation by Untold.

    P.S- some of the article, especially after immediate defeat still sucks.

    Why have u banned Rhys Jagger? He presented a different perspective. The more we have the more interesting things become, unless u plan to act like a dictator.

  17. Ignazi Miquel, Eisfeld, Toral, Yennaris and Bellerin.
    Don’t be surprized to see Miquel be forced to fill in at left back next season and do a great job. He’s a very useful and pacey defender.
    Toral and Bellerin will both be 17 and with Eisfeld may see carling cup action. We may see at least of those players shine.

  18. Chuks Aneke has bags of skill, but doesn’t seem to have the build of a footballer. ryo’s a year away,

  19. Does anybody noticed? We might have a german spine from next year or so. Podolski-eisfield-mertesacker.

  20. Personally I am really looking forward to seeing Ryo next year. He naturally plays the Arsenal way and with a better calibre of player around him and tutelage from Arsene Wenger, he could be amazing for Arsenal.

  21. Ryo- was quite good when healthy, injuries mean he probably has to go on another loan.

    Oxlade Chamberlain- easy pick to replace Rosicky in the future, but not the big impact yet.

    Jack Wilshere- biggest worry if when he finally recovers. He played very well without Fabregas on his side in 10/11, don’t worry about that.

    Frimpong- need another long time loan, not another long lasting injury. Probably will go to next ACN in January.

    Joel Campbell- will he get work permit or not? Then we will see.

    Abou Diaby- the beast in midfiled when healty. Still some niggles will come after this horrible injury 🙁

    Francis Coquelin- good cover for deep midfield, not more. Maybe he will become our next Arteta- but not yet.

    Podolski- I bet he will score far more than Walcott. About 15-20 times in season. Great reinforcement of Arsenal attack. My pick

    Jenkinson- will have to play till Sagna recovers, hope he will raise his abilities even more.

    Benik Afobe- this year is “now or never”. It will be hard, but who knows how can he perform during a longer spell in EPL?

  22. Ignasi Miquel and Eisfield can be added to the list. If Wilshere and Diaby manage to stay fit all season long next season, we might have one of the best midfield in the league.
    Isn’t it the shortest article on the site??? I don’t remember seeing a shorter one.

  23. Wonder if your talking about impact as in big effect or just involved.
    1. Ryo-not ready Carling cup will be the most we see I think, too many ahead of him and likely out on loan again.

    2. Oxlade Chamberlain – Depends on his Euro tournament bags of talent expect him to improve massively next season but not overused as Wenger is quite cautious with youngsters after previous problems with overuse young (eg. Wilsh injury, and Ramsey not able to see the season off as he started).

    3. Jack Wilshere – Obviously 🙂

    4. Frimpong – Think he will be brilliant to put pressure on Song to improve his focus, also great to bring on to close players down when tired, will make a big difference around the team.

    5. Joel Campbell – Expecting a loan in the pl, special talent but will need time to get used to physicality of PL, CC and loan

    6. Abou Diaby – Last chance saloon? missed massively this season, can really make the difference to give us a class midfield options without addition.

    7; Francis Coquelin – Solid squad player, not ready to hold out Song for a place think he will stay and not loaned out though.

    8. Podolski – Think he will have a massive influence depends whether he’s on wing or in centre but either way really lacked backup for Robin expect both to be interchanged and more efficient attack (Robin will be fresher rested more often) and 2 good goalscorers. Everyone knew this already

    9. Jenkinson – Expect main influence start of the season when Bac is out.

    10. Benik Afobe – Talented and strong build is he ready? will see in the cup competitions if he does well there expect him to be promoted to first team.

    Missing Martinez goalkeeper already played for Argentina and hopefully Fabianski will be gone.
    Miguel – With Mertesacker injury likely possibly see him around cups rate him a lot and I think Wenger is eager to start blooding him for first team.
    Lansbury – I know from the outside his loan did not look impressive but from supporters he has been their most talented player when he’s been on also feel he could be somewhat of a supersub midfielder and with older players feel he could see action in cup and some appearances as a sub elsewhere. Also bouyed by this comment I received. “His link-up play with Chambo also impressive for U21’s”

    Sorry about the massive post started typing and didn’t want it to go to waste.

  24. 1. Ryo- young and still developing, not yet ready for prime time but could be a great impact player.

    2. Oxlade Chamberlain – could be his season in 2012-13, we,ll see at the Euros.

    3. Jack Wilshere – provided he is fully fit, will be perfect in 2012-13.

    4. Frimpong – needs more time to develop but is almost there.

    5. Joel Campbell – if available, could be a real revelation?

    6. Abou Diaby – Can’t predict whether he’ll even play next season!

    7. Francis Coquelin – Definitely will be a top squad player.

    8. Podolski – I saw him over 2 seasons at Koln and he will be massive for AFC. He is a perfect team-player and can play across the front and even as an AM. He could be co-captain and is a born leader, loyal and very assertive in the attack with a great long distance shot (25+metres or more)

    9. Jenkinson – needs to be either loaned out or played more often.

    10. Benik Afobe – this is his last chance-he had better take it.

  25. We must never underrate Diaby. There isn’t anyone like him in the whole squad. I actully propose the extension of his contract, otherwise he is going to have a season of his life and the next thing he will be one a year with all the dirty money confusing his head. Podolski will be massive. Coquelin ana Eisfield will give good shifts as well. The rest of the young players will do carling cup and FA cups.

  26. I would vote to put Per in as center back and putting Kos out to the right until Sagna is back, in October or November realistically. I don’t want the pressure on Jenkinson to have to be the regular right fullback for such a long time. He got injured doing that this year. He is still learning his craft, let’s not make him do it when he is tired and suffering from minor knocks, which a 1st choice player has to do.

    Pod’i and Le Coq get my vote for greatest impact next year of those on the list. I think that Gervinho will have a Premier League year in and will open up next season.

  27. Ox is our next no. 10! He will be the attacking orchestrator and Arteta will be the Opera incharge…Diaby will be our DM with a flair to attack…we will play like no one else! We will not only be the favourite of the neutral but also of the AAA though publically they will never acknowledge this…

  28. I would add to that list maybe Henri Lansbury and Kyle Bartley they’r contracts were renewed before being sent on loan are highly regarded and personaly i see potential in them, Mertersaker and Gervinho too. I think seniors who will make an impact will be Gervinho, Mertersacker, Podolski and Wilshere, as for the juniors i would go for AOC, Ryo Miyaichi, Francis Coquelin. Diaby and Frimmpong depend on injuries. its difficult to single out one, hopefully they will all play a part, my favorites are Podolski
    and Ryo Miyaichi.

  29. Ramsey actually wasnt that bad this season, in the first half of the season he was really good in our midfield it was only in the second half of the season (after Gary Speed’s death more precisely) that is form droped.

  30. Maybe even a brief cameo from Thierry if we need him? Agree on Rambo /Gary speed, think he was also over played a bit due to injuries to other players. Like a few others, including song,he also looked a lot better when he had arteta to help him out.
    Personally, would like another season from benny but doubt that will happen. He proved a class act when he started getting a few games, and would be a great role model for others

  31. @Mandy: Thierry will practice with us, that is for sure. Will he play for us again? I don’t know, don’t think so, but his presence in any way can only be good for the boys.

    Rambo just needs to calm down. He has everything already, just like Jack, who needs to settle down. Then we will have a dream midfield.

    I love Ryo personally. He will improve his strength/stamina, don’t worry, that’s the easy part of the game. He has huge, proven talent.

  32. Henri Lansbury,Ignasi Miquel and Kyle Bartley deserves a nod next year.

  33. Any possibility the boss may give Vela another chance????

    I think Lansbury and Miquel have chances breaking into the first team apart from the ones mentioned above.

    I would also love to see the Mert-Kos partnership in the CB.

  34. I rank here players from the biggest impact to the lower

    I believe this player will have a great impact next year. RVP said that he has ‘a good technique’ which already makes him the most talented player of the list in term of pure technique. I put him in N°1 as not so many believe in him. He will be our great surprise. He will play and will put Gervinho on the bench (hopefully)!

    We just need him more than most of our players. He is our future captain!!

    N°4- Oxlade
    Great player obvisouly, but if Walcott stays this year, he will be only a substitute next year in most cases. He should play in several positions: center, left and right.

    N°4- Podolski
    He will have a big impact, but I think he will need to play at Ramsey place. Considering the usual preference of young player of Arsene, I gues he won’t play all matches.

    N°5- Frimpong
    Very close to Wilshere, as they played together in youth teams. More physical player than Coquelin, and there is one place for those two players. In my view one will stay after 2012/2013 season and that should be him. Frimpong should take the place over Coquelin but he has to come back strong from his injury.

    N°6- Coquelin
    If we don’t buy Mvila, he will be the substitute of Song at the start of the season. I personnaly have doubts on Coquelin, but we will see. It will be interesting to watch who will be the second player behind Song when Frimpong will be back in Autumn/winter.

    N°7- Jenkinson
    He will play when Sagna will be out. He will thus play in several cup and PL games. But I don’t expect more than that as he is still far from PL level on average. He had some really good games but defensively he can be very weak as well sometimes.

    N°8- Diaby
    Of course the potential is there and he maybe could have been an extraordinary player. But so many injuries… for so many years… Remember Ferguson sold Saha not because he did not perform, just because he was injured too often. Ferguson would probably have sold Diaby 3 years ago. I hope I am wrong and all will be fine next year!

    N°9- Campbell
    Not ready yet. He can be substitute? Maybe if we sell Vela, Chamackh, Bendtner and Park. => unlikely

    N°10- Afobe
    Same as Campbell but one step behind. Traditionnaly it appears that our forward from the Academy never plays (neither succeed in other clubs). Thus I am not super bullish. Hopefully for him I am wrong.

    You could have add Bendtner to your list, as nobody will buy him and he will be back at the club. But I guess nobody hopes that issue, right? Too early for Gnarby but definitely a player to watch!

  35. so no particular ordering but here goes:

    1. rambo – glad that others have noted the gary speed factor with him. to add, speed was a man he spent quite a bit of time around and gave him captaincy as a 20yo; really disgusted by some things fellow gooners have said about him this season. we’ve seen what the lad is capable of (marseilles) but it seems he’s a little more effective with arteta anchoring the unit and i’m ok with that. if he can compose himself in front of goal and put a few away his confidence will grow and from there the sky’s the limit.

    2. gervinho – maybe it’s just my infatuation with his afro-brazilian name but he’s a player i was quite familiar with before joining arsenal. i could go on about the ivorian’s ability but the fact is, on form, he is an utter nightmare for opponents. he’s direct with has lightning quick feet and in his second year in this system i have high hopes. i start with ramsey and yao kouassi because of all arsenal players they stand out as individuals who simply need to find the target to get back on track.

    3. diaby – glad to i’m not amongst those who loath the mere utterance of the french international’s kit number. it seems luck has done him few favors but if we can somehow get him back to 100% he would be like a new signing and add some much needed grit to the middle of the park.

    4. wilshire – to get the last of the blatantly obvious out of the way, jacky-boy is numero quatro. it could realistically take him half a season or more to get back to his best but with his desire i think it will be sooner than that. sad we won’t be getting a player with another year’s worth of experience but he’s got loads of ability regardless; he and arteta could become quite the tandem.

    5. ox – i think he will definitely improve and hopefully will get to play more of the 10 role but he still has a long way to go. really hope he has a strong showing at the euro’s and carries that confidence into the season. he’s going to need it to play with the level of consistency needed to compete in what’s sure to be a brutal title race.

    6, joel campbell – one of the toss-ups because we don’t know what wenger will do with him. someone mentioned loaning him to a swansea or norwich which sounds like a fantastic idea, hope the boss agrees. he could probably fight for substitution appearances woth the first team but i think his time would be better spent on a year loan to toughen him up a bit.

    7. poldi/mvila/kagawa/mbiwa – the transfers and possible singings are lumped into one because all of the names seriously linked with the club would make significant impacts. those listed above besides our first signing are who i’d really like to sign plus another striker, which, after those 3, would literally be too good to be true, so the trio would do for me.

    8. ozyakup – another toss-up, not because he doesn’t have the talent but more so that our midfield is a bit crowded at the moment. i think he is about ready for more first team appearances but this summer will tell us more. he could be loaned until january and then fill in for injuries during latter months of the season, not sure why we didn’t do that this year.

    9. theo – has to make my list because next season might just be his final shot. i have stood by him all these years and now see a fork in the road in the horizon. when he is at his best he has the pace to give the mertesaker-type headaches and made significant improvements in the finishing department. i like him and it seems like he likes us but if he wants a big boy pay packet he is going to have to earn it, plain and simple. if he doesn’t justify his demands i don’t see why we’d hold onto him besides the homegrown factor but ryo falls into that category if i’m not mistaken.

    (10.) ryo – he doesn’t technically make my list of 10. i think will have a strong 2012/13 campaign but i include him to say that if he makes significant improvements next year hopefully it won’t just be on our training ground ( or with the reserve squad). he started strong with bolton but has shown his kid side and that should be expected. another year out on loan and he could be the perfect replacement for the aforementioned theo walcott.

    close but no cigar:
    -bartley – could play/impress in preseason as he did last year, however, and not to be cynical, i don’t think he’ll ever make our first 11
    -eisfeld – not ready, there’s no way around it, bright bright future but let’s be patient
    -frimpong – the inclination is to keep him and try to get him minutes but i think his personality and talent need regular minutes, loan again
    -le coq – same thing as frimps minus the personality; a loan to a side where he can earn some quality minutes would do wonders
    -afobe – depends on the preseason. i am REALLY hopeful, though.
    -martinez – if we handle business (ie moving almunia and flappy along) he should be promoted to fight vito for the no 2 spot
    -miquel – promising, promising young player who captains his national squad at his age level. someone said wenger is eager to work him into the squad and rightfully so. i’m not certain he’s ready for league but it would be great to get him minutes in cc and reserves. loan move obviously would suit him, too.
    jenkinson – another with potential despite early criticism. definitely needs a season on loan, maybe 2.

    we’ve got a million wonder-kid types so i’ll stop there. hopefully we can move the dead weight and make moves because the prospect of mancs adding to their squad means we are going to have to step it up to compete domestically. COYG!!!!

  36. Considering the tactic employed by some teams against us (i.e kick our players till kingdom come), and the lack of will from the EPL Refs to do their job on this front (especially where Arsenal is concerned), I really fear for Ryo if he plays Prem football for Arsenal next season. So, I will suggest that he be allowed to go on loan one more time to toughen up a bit. His technical ability is not in doubt.

    The Ox will improve further, no doubt. So will Jenkinson and Coquelin. However, Frimpong is still far too childish. As a result of which, he may injure himself far more than necessary. He is trying far too hard to be the Arsenal British Bulldog. Someone needs to make him realise that all he needs really is controlled aggression, not RAW, Brutish, injury enhancing tackling. Until he learns that, he is in danger of becoming just another Carl Henry, I am afraid.

    Without a doubt, if Diaby can just stay fit like RVP and Roscki…, all I can say is… WOW! I hope that Jack does not suffer too much after effect of his injury. We must be extremely patient with him, and ease him back in gently. I trust Wenger to do that and not hurry him too much like Ramsey(though that was forced on Wenger. He had not much of a choice). We do not want Jack to become mentally tired like Ramsey, and so loose a bit of confidence like Ramsey. That was why Ramsey tried to compensate by doing elaborate turns when all he needed was simple one-touch passes. What bothers me is the Arsenal ‘customers’, or should I call them ‘Fans’? Will they have the required patience and not start to boo him when anything goes ever so slightly wrong? I’ll wait to see. But I strongly hope so. As for Podolski, it is far too early for me to even worry about him. So I won’t. And neither should anyone.

  37. i might get slated for saying this but after some consideration, I wouldnt mind if Bendtner was given another chance, for some reason i still get the feeling that he can be a great striker, from what i remember he always is in the right place at the right time only his finishing lets him down sometimes, but i could be wrong…

  38. With Steve Bould in the fold next season, I think we should expect even more prominent youth promotion.

  39. I think the obvious exclusion would be Ramsey. Seeing as how prior to his injury he was playing like a young Roy Keane and after his injury and recovery he still hadn’t completed a full season back and yet we were calling for perfection from the off and screaming how shit he was from the terraces. That’ll boosted his confidence no end I’m sure.
    Watch this space- Next season, Ramsey will be like a new signing. He will have his confidence back having completed a season unscathed. I mean if you got Diaby in there then why not Ramsey. I’d take Lansbury over Abou Diaby. At least with Lans he stays fit and doesn’t just cost us money and give nothing back.

    Also, Bolton are in talks with AW about taking RYO back to the Reebok

  40. you shouldreally have included a number 11 for our beloved EPL refs,they have too owe us something by now (not gonna hold my breath thou).

    on a more realistic note i’vgot afeelingabout ryo very tired after work so itsjusta number 1 and11 for me

  41. @arvind

    WUMS is a great short hand expression!

    -i’ve never heard of it before, cheers!

  42. @blaze,

    agreed. if RVP does go, we bank 30 mill and retain B52 and have him and poldi to battle it out for RVP position. salso hift cham and vela to further to pay down the remaining net debt.

    but also use some money (10-15 mill) to buy a midfielder (AM or DM?)

  43. …also, if RVP were to leave, wallcot could be given a run through the middle with a poldi/gerv and Ox combo and see if he develops?…

  44. for those who mentioned bartley, NAH.

    We (the SPL) play a low level of technical football. I can promise u that in the 20-25 games for rangers that bartley has playeed, that he is in no way the ability to even challenge for our 4th CB position. He needs to play a full season in either the championship or a low level EPL team, thats just how it is.

  45. i think u should add eisfeld & miquel. i not agree with diaby & jenkinson in the list

  46. Bartley… given sebastien squillaci is sold. However, I think Djourou will be staying, especially since he has home-grown status.

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