Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Contrasting fortunes for Arsenal’s young Spaniards during eventful week

The past seven days have encompassed several ups and downs for various members of the Arsenal youth system, and could end on a high if Hector Bellerin features for the first-team tomorrow against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup. With Carl Jenkinson suspended there have been suggestions this week that the 17 year old right-back, who joined from Barcelona at the start of last season, could make his senior debut for the club against the Championship side.

The Spaniard is set to be included in the squad, although it is currently unclear whether he will start the game. There has been less luck, however, for his close friend Jon Toral, who also arrived in North London from Barcelona. The classy midfielder has demonstrated glimpses of his talent since joining the club, but has also spent much time out due to injury, and is currently back in Spain after undergoing an operation which is likely to keep him out for a sustained period.

Neither Bellerin or Toral featured on Monday as the U21s drew 2-2 with Manchester United in an engaging encounter at Altrincham FC. England youth international striker Chuba Akpom scored both of Arsenal’s goals, the first of which was particularly memorable as he beat an opponent with an instinctive piece of skill before firing past Ben Amos to open the scoring. Akpom, indeed, could have made it 3-2 in the second half when he glanced a header just wide when well placed, but a draw was perhaps an accurate result given the performances of both sides. That scoreline leaves Arsenal with just two points from their first three fixtures in the U21 Elite Group to date, with their next fixture coming away to Tottenham Hotspur next Saturday at the latter’s training ground.

The U18s, meanwhile, continue to struggle in the league, although, on this occasion, their 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers can be attributed largely to inexperience. New U18s coach Carl Laraman, who was appointed following Steve Gatting’s promotion to the U21s, handed out several debuts to unfamiliar schoolboys, with Kaylen Hinds particularly impressing after emerging off the bench. Another young side is likely to be named against Manchester City tomorrow, with the FA Youth Cup Fifth Round tie against Everton at Underhill to come just two days later.

Last weekend also saw Spanish centre-back Ignasi Miquel make his first Premier League appearance of the season. The 20 year old filled in at left-back on several occasions at various points last campaign, but has struggled with injury this time around. However, Miquel was called upon for the final five minutes against Sunderland and didn’t disappoint as the Gunners held on for victory at the Stadium of Light. It is possible that Miquel will feature in some capacity against Blackburn tomorrow as he looks to cement his status as the club’s fourth choice centre-back, although there is also the chance that the former Cornella player could experience his first loan spell before the end of the campaign.


Jeorge Bird is the author of  www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com  Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Is he a midfielder or a right back?


Right wing back, so either.


would be good to give Miquel a solid run-out incase he’s needed against bayern


Carl jenkinson is not doing himself amy favours. When he’s been called upon he has shown exactly the kind of form as to why he’s always on the bench. Young and all but please do yourself a favour and keep a cool head!

K. Soze

what are you on about he was brilliant early on in the season… it was an immature performancr but hardly typical of him


Leroy’s a good player, and while his red card was deserved he certainly wasn’t the only player who should have been sent off that day – Titus “Tit” Bramble and Leo “I’m a” Cattermole should have both gone too.

When he’s played, he’s performed well. I’m looking forward to him and Gibbs starting together in the future.


Over the summer my mate went to Barcelona and in one of the bars he was in a guy with an English accent came up to them and started talking to them. Everyone else was Spanish and I think they were trying to pull some Spanish birds. The guy said he played for Arsenal but my mates didn’t really believe him, they all said he was well alright and spoke with a cockney tinge apparently like me according to my mate despite living in Barcelona. Any way they added each other on Facebook, and when u spoke to my mate… Read more »


So Hector Bellerin has a cockney accent does he?


Apparently so.


Hector is a quality player, not sure he’s ready for first team though


He’s really good. Just needs to bulk up and get a little disciplined. He’ll be much better than Carl, he already is miles ahead going forward, and I see him fucking off to Catalunya once he’s 22 years old.


What about Nico Yennaris? When he came on as a sub against Leeds last year he was pretty impressive for the best part of an hour.

While I’d have no problem with whoever’s chosen, I’d really like to see Yennaris have a start.

i want to boff giroud and im not even gay

Hector bellend LOL

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