Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour has called on the team’s younger players to seize the opportunity presented to them as the Gunners continue their pre-season.Arsenal’s youth have played a vital role in the club’s opening pre-season matches, as the Gunners have beaten the Colorado Rapids, Bayern Munich and Fiorentina as part of their U.S. tour.Eddie Nketiah has been the team’s most prolific scorer over the three games, having fired three goals, while youngsters Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka have stepped up with goals as well. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Gabriel Martinelli, the club’s only completed summer signing so far, provided a finish of his own on debut, making a positive start to his Arsenal career to ease some doubts over the club’s lack of transfer movement.Like several of this summer’s goalscorers, Parlour came up through the Gunners academy, having joined the club in 1989 before making his debut three years later.The midfielder ended up making more Premier League appearances for Arsenal than any other player, winning three Premier League titles as part of a 12-trophy haul during his stay with the club.And, having made the rise from academy product to a midfield fixture, Parlour says it’s up to the current group of young players to take the chance presented to them and make their own case for a bigger role as the Premier League season looms.”It’s so important for these young players to get an opportunity,” Parlour told Goal.”The older of the younger generation, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, will get that opportunity to get into the first team. Saka, who played on the left-wing has been very good.”These guys have to put the effort in this pre-season, improve and try and show the manager that we can rely on you to go forward. I came through the ranks. Everybody needs that opportunity to show that you can be as good as you show in the pre-season.”While Martinelli has impressed in his initial minutes, the club is expected to make further signings in the weeks to come with less than three weeks remaining before the club’s Premier League opener against Newcastle.Deals for Dani Ceballos and William Saliba appear to be on the horizon, with the Spanish midfielder nearing a £27 million ($34m) move to the Emirates while the Frenchman is also nearing a transfer that will see him remain with Saint-Etienne on loan next season. Those deals are not yet completed, though, with manager Unai Emery saying the club is determined to sign their primary targets and not settle for the wrong deals.Parlour admitted that he believes further reinforcements are needed if Arsenal are to compete with the best the Premier League has to offer as he hopes the club can take a step forward after what he saw as a frustrating end to the 2018-19 campaign.”I was disappointed with the last season, but you have to move on and be optimistic this season,” he said. “I’m sure they’re working very hard behind the scenes to get transfers done. I don’t know what sort of positions they want to improve. Probably centre-half, full-back has been mentioned, a winger. Hopefully, when it comes to the end of the window, we’ll have a few more players in. He added: “This is a very important time for the team, pre-season. [Emery] would have been as disappointed as anybody last season with the run-in, losing a few games and couldn’t come fourth place.”Obviously, the Europa League final, losing that game, you can’t look back. You have to look forward. Hopefully, they can progress and get better next season.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
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