Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal Under-23 midfielder Reiss Nelson will be promoted to the first-team next season along with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has already made 12 appearances for the senior team in the last three seasons including an appearance in the Champions League against Galatasaray in 2014.
Nelson was a key member of the Arsenal U-23 side that finished fourth in Premier League 2. The 17-year-old attacking midfielder, who can also play on the wings, contributed 12 goals and six assists in 27 appearances in various youth level competitions.
Wenger has brought in a number of players to the first-team from the youth ranks namely Jack Wilshere, Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Hector Bellerin and most recently Alex Iwobi. The French coach is keen to continue the trend and has identified the two midfielders as next in line to make the step-up.
"We have some young players who will join the squad next season," Wenger told Arsenal's official site. "Like Reiss Nelson, like Ainsley Maitland-Niles already. So they are two players."
"So we have quality players who might have a chance next season and hopefully we will be able to do that again because that's part of the DNA of the club as well."
A number of first-team players are entering the final year of their contracts at the end of the month and Wenger has made it clear that retaining the core of the team is the main priority during the summer transfer window, while also plotting one or two top quality additions.
Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere will all have one year remaining at the end of the month and Wenger is keen to extend their deals sooner rather than later. Arsenal have opened talks with all the players, but are yet to give any indication of the progress.
"The first quality we have that will be needed is to keep the [first-team] players together. The team has learned a lot, but to transfer that into the new season the first ingredient and the first request is that they stay together, that they fight together. So that's basically my answer: let's keep them all together," Wenger added.