The change at Arsenal that has led to the emergence of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe

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Arsenal are in the midst of a difficult few years at the club.

The Gunners have failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League in each of the last five seasons and are currently without any European football for the first time in 25 years.

Current head coach Mikel Arteta is hoping to steady the ship and bring the north London club back to the top – although he has so far struggled for consistency, finishing eighth in back-to-back Premier League campaigns.

However, one thing Arteta can be credited for is the integration of youth players, with Hale End graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe establishing themselves as first-team regulars in the last 12 months.

Not only are the two talented youngsters regulars in the starting XI, but they have arguably been the two most consistent players in Arsenal’s starting lineup, often outperforming experienced senior players who are on astronomical wages.

Still, former Gunner Fabrice Muamba has revealed that the club are now more relaxed with academy players, claiming that they used to be much stricter, rarely allowing the first team to mix with the Hale End youngsters.

“It was very strict”, Muamba told JaackMate’s Happy Hour YouTube podcast when asked how often he saw the first team during his academy days

“You had the first team on one side and the academy on the other side. We were not allowed to go across to the first team.

“Now you hear that the boys can just go across (to the first team).

“For you to go and train with the first team it was like Christmas day. As I said, it is not the same anymore.”

Muamba spent five years with the north London club before departing for Birmingham City in 2007.

Source by Football London

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