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Arsenal look to future by keeping tabs on highly-rated youngsters

| 24.01.2014

With Arsenal top of the Premier League and challenging for both FA Cup and Champions League honours Arsene Wenger may be forgiven for just focusing on the here and now but the Frenchman is busy planning for the future.

Reports suggest the former Monaco manager is ready to commit his own future to the Gunners by signing a new two-year contract and he could be joined at the Emirates Stadium by highly-rated trio Jordon Cousins, Alex McCarthy and Jamaal Lascelles.

Arsenal’s current crop of academy stars are not overly impressing and the Premier League leaders are targeting moves for the British trio in a bid to boost a squad which already boasts homegrown players like Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

While speculation is mounting surrounding Bacary Sagna’s future at Arsenal, who are 4/1 to win the title, the club are keeping a close eye on Charlton youngster Cousins with a view to him boosting their defensive ranks.

Chief scout Steve Rowley made a personal check on the 19-year-old last week and he would be expected to provide competition to another former Charlton graduate in Carl Jenkinson.

Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is another prospect who has been closely monitored by Arsenal in recent seasons and with second choice keeper Lukas Fabianski out of contract in the summer, Wenger could be ready to make his move.

And with the French boss seemingly turning to British talent he has also watched Nottingham Forest defender Lascelles on a number of occasions this season.

The Gunners are fighting on three fronts for silverware this season but they are 4/9 with Ladbrokes not to win a trophy and extend their drought to a ninth year.

But amid reports suggesting club officials are still negotiating a deal for Julian Draxler and heavily scouring the globe in a bid to strengthen their chances of success, Arsenal could still be candidates for a league, cup and Champions League treble – on at a massive 750/1 with Ladbrokes.

And with “Le Professeur” not resting on his laurels, Cousins, McCarthy and Lascelles could form part of a British dynasty at the Emirates which could make their current trophy drought seem a distant memory.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Oliver Yew