Former Arsenal star Jens Lehmann has warned Arsenal’s older players they risk being labelled ‘mediocre’ if they don’t deliver with the crop of new talent at the club.
The Gunners have had something of a difficult start to the season after a summer of heavy investment in the squad.
They spent over £150m on players in the summer transfer window, targeting young stars for the future such as Nuno Tavares, Sambi Lokonga, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Martin Odegaard and Ben White.
All of those are aged 23 or under, meaning Arsenal have very much gone back to their plan of blooding young talent and developing it in house.
They have all been added to a squad that already boasted young talent such as Gabriel Martinelli, Folarin Balogun, Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka.
It means the focus is very much on the future, which Lehmann says has to include a trophy or Champions League qualification for the older players to avoid being labelled mediocre.
“Well, I think there are four fantastic players,” he told BILD when asked if Arsenal’s young players can get the club ‘back on track’.
“They are young, they are not yet in a position to take the club forward, but they always say the future is golden.
“Whether that will be the case for the players at Arsenal, I don’t know. In any case, they have potential.
“And all the other players who are older, just deliver a bit. Qualify for the Champions League or win something, and then you can also say they are great players, but otherwise, everything is actually mediocre.”