ARSENAL have handed debuts to youngsters Arthur Okonkwo and Harry Clarke for their friendly game at Hibernian.
But there is no place in the squad for new signing Nuno Tavares.
Arthur Okonkwo starts in goal for Arsenal in the friendly against HibernianCredit: Getty
The Gunners swooped to sign the left-back Tavares, 21, for £8million from Benfica.
Captain and star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starts the game, with Willian and Eddie Nketiah joining the forward line.
Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny will form the midfield.
And Pablo Mari is set to be partnered at centre-back by 20-year-old rookie Harry Clarke.
Sead Kolasinac, rumoured to be on his way out of the club, will play full-back with Cedric on the other side.
Okonkwo, at only 19-years-old, will be between the sticks.
The Nigerian-born teen has played for England at Under-16s, U17 and U18 level, having been with the Gunners for ten years.
He was named in boss Mikel Arteta’s senior squad for the coming season.
Asked about his step-up by Arsenal’s social media team, Okonkwu replied: “Ever since I went over with the first team, they have always made me feel welcome and it just helps me. moving over, to feel one of them.
“I think that has been the biggest help for me.”
And when questioned about individual influences, he said: “I would say when I first went over…Laca. He always made me feel at home.
“With all the youngsters, he helps welcome everyone and speaks to you and tells you things to do, so he’s been a big help.
Centre-half Harry Clarke also makes his non-competitive debutCredit: Getty
“I would also say Bernd. As a goalkeeper he has made me feel very welcome from the first time I was up there with him, so a big help from both of them.”
Okonkwo played eight games in the Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy last term.
There is a first inclusion in a matchday squad for Omari Hutchinson, Omar Rekik and Jack Henry-Francis.
And Folarin Balogun, also promoted to the senior squad for 2021/22, will take his place on the substitutes’ bench.
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