Mika Biereth and Omari Hutchinson have been included in the Arsenal squad to face Nottingham Forest, football.london can reveal.
The youngsters have been rewarded for their impressive performance at Under-23’s level, with Charlie Patino and Salah Oulad M’Hand also included in the travelling party for the game at the City Ground.
Biereth and Hutchinson both played for the Under-23’s against Brighton on Friday night, but the starlets have been drafted into the first team squad which is currently without several key senior players.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta admitted ahead of the third round tie that his squad was looking threadbare due to a mixture of Covid and injuries.
“It was for COVID and for injuries as well,” Arteta said at his press conference.
“I don’t want to give anything away as you can imagine. We are really short with numbers. We want to play and that’s how we are approaching every game.”
Midfield is an area where the Gunners are particularly light at the minute.
Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey have gone off to AFCON and are expected to be absent for the rest of the month, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles completed his loan move to Roma on Saturday.
Meanwhile Granit Xhaka and Emile Smith Rowe were not pictured in training this week adding to speculation that both players could be absent for the FA Cup clash on Sunday.
This leaves Albert Sambi Lokonga as the only orthodox senior central midfielder Mikel Arteta has to choose from, meaning Patino could be in line for a start.
Source by Football London