Arsenal face blocking the next Cesc Fabregas after spotting progress issue under Arteta

Arsenal could struggle to unearth the next Cesc Fabregas from their academy system (Image: GETTY)

Arsenal’s recent progress under Mikel Arteta could ruin their hopes of unearthing the next Cesc Fabregas, according to reports. The Gunners have come on leaps and bounds since Arteta took over in 2019 and have firmly established themselves as regular Premier League title contenders.

It seems Arsenal may be about to pay the price of success when it comes to helping talented young players bridge the gap to senior level. Their esteemed Hale End academy is among the best in the country but its role could be diminished as a result of their progress in recent years.

Those in power at the Emirates Stadium recognise that Arsenal’s higher standard of football has made it difficult for young players to break through, according to The Athletic. As a result, academy stars will not have the same opportunities as they did in previous years to make their mark at senior level.

Mikel Arteta has only handed competitive first-team debuts to six academy players (Image: GETTY)

The report adds that some players are starting to realise that their interests may be better served elsewhere. Amario Cozier-Duberry is set to leave the Gunners after turning down a new contract, with the lack of a clear pathway to the senior squad thought to have been a key factor.

The winger, who joined Arsenal aged 14, has been in and around the first-team picture for two seasons but is yet to make his competitive debut. He appeared in a handful of mid-season friendlies during the World Cup in 2022 but has reportedly grown frustrated with his lack of senior game time.

Arteta has only handed competitive debuts to six academy players during his time in charge of the Gunners. Folarin Balogun, Miguel Azeez, Ben Cottrell, Charlie Patino, Ethan Nwaneri and Charles Sagoe Jr are the players in question but none of them have featured heavily at first-team level.

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The Arsenal boss recently insisted that he is open to bringing through young players but admitted that he feels the club is currently short on academy talent.

“We certainly want to do that,” he said earlier this year. “First of all, we need to produce those talents and then they have to earn it. Secondly, when we produce them, they have to be in the positions that we need fulfilling. Everything has to come together.

“We are working on that. We have a few prospects which are not far, but the reality is that we want more. To give the opportunities and to play in the first team at the level that we’re required, we are a bit short.”