Arsenal vs Southampton: Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Stephy Mavididi and the bright young talents to look out for

Arsene Wenger will ring the changes once again for the EFL Cup clash with Southampton

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The Independent Football

Jeff Reine-Adelaide

A graduate of the famous Lens academy, La Gaillette, Arsenal signed Reine-Adelaide in the summer of 2015. He is a brilliantly talented wide player or forward, fast and skilful, who has already been given two starts by Arsene Wenger, both in the EFL Cup. He has jumped ahead of players who have been at the club longer than him, which says a lot about how highly Wenger rates him.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Maitland-Niles already has the benefit of a whole season of Championship football with Ipswich Town under his belt, and it shows. He is a powerful and adaptable player, who can play at right-back, right-wing and in holding midfield. He may be too versatile for his own good, but he made his Premier League and Champions League debuts for Arsenal even before his Ipswich spell, which shows his gifted he is. Has overcome a difficult moment when his mother fell out so dramatically with the club she could not come to watch his games.

Krystian Bielik

There was initial excitement when Arsenal paid Legia Warsaw £2.5million for 17-year-old Bielik almost two years ago. A technical hitch with his signing meant that he could not feature for Arsenal initially, but he has since become a regular in the Under-21 and Under-23 teams. Comfortable at centre-back or in holding midfield, he has made two Arsenal appearances so far, both in what is now the EFL Cup.

Stephy Mavididi

Rippleway United FC is one of the best clubs for boys in east London and it has already given Arsenal Chuba Akpom and Alex Iwobi. They have a third Arsenal youngster in Stephy Mavididi, the powerful striker who started off at Southend before joining Arsenal, via a brief spell at West Ham United. Still just 18 years old, he was an important part of Arsenal’s Under-21s last year, and should be on the bench tonight, with Akpom still recovering from a stress fracture in his back.

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