Mikel Arteta promoted Nigerian defensive midfielder Tim Akinola and five other academy prospects to first-team training ahead of Saturday’s game with Leicester City.

Arsenal have returned to form with six wins in eight games and Arteta is keen to see what his youth players can offer – especially after the emergence of Emil Smith Rowe and Buakyo Saka.

Arteta has now taken things a step further by providing some members of the Under-23s side with a chance to test themselves against the first team.

And among those promoted to take part in Thursday’s first team training is Akinola.

The 20-year-old has already been around for quite a bit with loan spells at Mansfield, Lincoln City and Huddersfield.

He is brilliant in tight spaces with the ball at his feet and he can also pick a pass. With Granit Xhaka out injured and Arsenal progressing to the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup he will hope that impressing in training could lead to first-team appearances