Neville praises Arsenal’s youth revolution – but worries about first four chances

A 3-2 win at Watford on Sunday lifted the Gunners to fourth place above Neville’s former side Manchester United and the ex-defender was impressed with the way Mikel Arteta brought in Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe.

“[Arteta] East [backing] good youth,” he told Sky Sports on Sunday. “He has players there, was it two years ago against Chelsea when he was missing a few players for various reasons?

“And he brought in Saka, Martinelli and Smith Rowe. He brought these three that day and we thought, ‘This could be tough.’ And they were sensational.

“I think from that point Mikel Arteta recognized that this was the way to go for the club. That he wants players he can work with. He can grow with it and he can mold it. They will have this fighting spirit.

Although Arsenal were a point ahead of Manchester United with three games less, Neville tipped his former side to stay in the top four.

United and Liverpool travel to north London in the coming weeks before the Gunners travel to Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham in a tough clash.

“I don’t fully trust Arsenal, I think it will be great for the club and Mikel Arteta if they do, that group of players have been fantastic,” he said.

“But they still have big games to play – United still have to go to Arsenal and there’s still a long way to go. United could still do that.


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