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Arteta delighted with how Arsenal youngsters are 'evolving'

7 days ago
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Arsenal's young players came in for praise from Mikel Arteta after the Gunners booked a spot in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Mikel Arteta is delighted with the way his young Arsenal players are "evolving" as the Gunners fought their way into the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-1 win at Sheffield United.

It appeared the game was headed for extra-time when David McGoldrick cancelled out Nicolas Pepe's first-half penalty in the 87th minute.

Arsenal responded with an injury-time winner through Dani Ceballos, though, and head coach Arteta was impressed with the attitude of his youngsters.

"They [Arsenal's young players] are evolving and they are really willing and finding a lot of personality to play," he told BT Sport. 

"You can see the way they played and Eddie [Nketiah] the way he came on and fights with everybody, he doesn't care. I really like that."

After back-to-back defeats to resume their halted Premier League season, Arsenal have rebounded with a top-flight win against Southampton and their cup success versus the Blades.

"We really needed that, we played four away games after the coronavirus [break], it's not easy to do that in the Premier League and hopefully we can get some momentum going now," Arteta said.

Arsenal are back at Wembley and two wins away from lifting a first trophy under Arteta, who was appointed Unai Emery's successor in November.

The Spaniard says Arsenal remain very much a work-in-progress, though.

"We still have a massive gap to fill in, we have to improve many departments a lot, we have to respect the process," he added. 

"It's been really difficult, stop-start, stop-start, but we'll get it right. I'm convinced of that, we just need a little bit of time that's all."

Speaking to BBC Sport, he added: "It is a great opportunity to try and win a title and play in Europe."

David Luiz returned from suspension but lasted just 54 minutes of the contest at Bramall Lane.

Providing a brief update at his post-match news conference, Arteta said: "It was his ankle. He will get it assessed tomorrow [Monday]."

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