Second-year scholar Jeffrey is one of several young players currently striving for their future at the club.
Having steadily progressed through the club’s Hale End Academy, Monakana, who is a right-winger by trade but also capable of operating as a centre-forward if required, is fully aware that the next few months will be pivotal if he is to earn a professional contract.
A player blessed with impressive speed and technical ability, as well as having a penchant for delivering dangerous crosses, Monakana has struggled to break into Neil Banfield’s Reserve side and, despite having amassed 42 appearances at under-18 level, has only found the net on five occasions.
Given that there are few natural right-wingers in the Arsenal youth set-up, it seems a little surprising that Monakana hasn’t been utilised more often in the second string, with central-midfielders such as the diligent Josh Rees being deployed in his position instead. Monakana was left out the squad entirely for Arsenal’s FA Youth Cup defeat to Derby last month, and faces a fight to be retained at the end of the campaign.
Monakana’s determination and enthusiasm have continued to shine through in adversity, however, and he will be hoping that these qualities will work in his favour when that all-important decision is eventually made.