Thursday, June 20, 2024

Cull of homegrown youngsters continues


There have been several rumours about potential incomings during this transfer window, but one aspect of the club’s transfer policy that has been rather clear cut in recent weeks is the number of youngsters departing the club.

Emmanuel Frimpong and Nico Yennaris left permanently this week, whilst Benik Afobe and Daniel Boateng headed out on loan. Given that the latter two players are out of contract in the summer, it may not be too long until they also join the ever-increasing list of Arsenal Academy alumni plying their trade elsewhere.

The departure of Yennaris, who has joined League One side Brentford, will particularly rankle some Arsenal supporters, with the versatile youngster having endeared himself to many with his committed performances, whether as a defensive-midfielder or at right-back. The highlight of Yennaris’ Arsenal career was undoubtedly featuring as a second-half substitute against Manchester United in the Premier League two seasons ago, but injury problems and a couple of unsuccessful loan spells dictated that he ultimately didn’t make the grade.

Frimpong’s fate, meanwhile, had been clear for some time, with the 22 year old having been rather isolated from the Arsenal first-team set-up this season. Once considered a player of some promise, particularly after he impressed alongside Jack Wilshere in midfield in the Emirates Cup in 2010, injuries have seen his career stagnate somewhat, and he failed to build upon a promising loan spell with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2012.

Afobe, despite his clinical nature in front of goal, may well leave the club on a permanent basis in the summer as well, although for now he will spend the rest of the season with Sheffield Wednesday. Yet another player who has been blighted by injuries during his young career, the striker has scored four goals in seven U21 appearances for Arsenal this season since recovering from his latest setback and is now ready to play regular competitive football.

The departures of the three above players, along with Boateng, who has joined Hibernian on loan, has left resources considerably stretched for Arsenal at youth level, particularly as they still have fixtures in five competitions to fulfil between now and the end of the season.

Afobe’s strike in extra-time after he latched onto a delicately-weighted ball from Kristoffer Olsson saw Arsenal progress to the Semi-Finals of the inaugural U21 Premier League Cup competition, although their opponents in the last four are still to be determined.

The U18s, meanwhile, learnt this week that they will shortly travel to face Charlton Athletic in the Fifth Round of the FA Youth Cup, whilst the U19 side will take on Shakhtar Donetsk at Borehamwood in the UEFA Youth League next month.

The respective fates of Frimpong and Yennaris have proven, though, that the number of times you turn out for the club at youth level is no guarantee that you will succeed in the long-term.

Jeorge Bird is the author of  Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird


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No mind the gap jokes please.

Thank fuk the club buffoon Frimpong has gone!


A strangely injury prone group of youngsters. Possibly a problem with the training at that level or just coincidence I wonder?


So were in our first title race for like 6 years and to strenghen our chances were in for kallstrom and just had a bid turned down for kalou(sky sports).

Now im not gonna panic…..but seriously wtf? We dont need wingers he said. Kalou……would have rather kept gervinho. I maintain id rather sign no one and give sanogo a chance than sign shit that demands 60k a week or whatever he earns. Good work transfer team :’ (


couldn’t agree more…im worried now..and Kim Källström sure as hell isn’t getting the job done for us…fugggg…i can’t believe we flopped..this is why you don’t wait till the last minute to do things…it’s too risky


Btw im pissed with 31 year old kallstrom too


I couldn’t disagree more – the more players we get the better.


And thats where the problem is. we had enough time to get in quality yet we went for quantity and still failed!


thats a silly joke frm joke


It’s purely “cover.” You know, an option whilst Flamini is suspended. An experienced pro. Surely you wouldn’t recommend splurging for yet another midfielder on a permanent basis?


These two are probably like most other Afc youngsters at the club showing promise and hopefully building on it,some show more than others and one thing AW does is give them chances. without this set up we will not find any starlets, very few at the moment maybe only one in JW. they may not make it here at Afc but most go on to get a decent game somewere.young players know they will get chances here and that also attracts many from around the world. yennaris unlucky was shining at the time before his injuries but Frimpong too outspoken… Read more »


Frimpong has had 2 cruciate injuries. That is the worst kind of luck… Huge potential that will be unfulfilled. He was going to be really good. You can’t have 18 months out at that age of your development. A real shame. Flat caps and whippets then…

Fatboy Gooney

Wow, wenger has given up on the rabbits,
Now his pulling donkey’s out of his hat.

No mind the gap jokes please.

Obviously AW doesn’t want silverware this year then!

The only Olivier is Giroud

@no mind the gaps jokes please, can you just wind your neck in for two seconds?? Jesus. Shitty and Chelsea both struggling in this window and they have unlimited cash. We, on the other hand, are in a delicate situation because 1) other clubs know we have money after the Puma announcement and 2) we have injuries and suspensions in key positions so clubs know we’re pressed for signings. This 31 year old Swede (won’t try to spell his name) might just turn out a masterstroke: literally have him covering Flamini/Arteta for a couple of months, he’s off in the… Read more »


Couldn’t agree with you more. Having the option of…Kim, it’ll keep the midfield fresh and even more competitive. This seasons success is down to our midfield being the best in the business. This is a masterstroke from the boss, its just what we need to beat Shitty and Chelski to the finishing line.


If Ramsey, Walcott, Wilshere or Flamini were available I doubt we would be signing anyone. Now we are truely fucked as we don’t have either with very hard games ahead 🙁 why do we always get the worst injuries? Are other teams out to injure our players on purpose? I wonder


If I were, through a bloody coup, to seize power at Arsenal then the first thing I would do, before any transfer business or tactical jiggery-pokery or anything like that, would be to have a complete and thorough audit of the medical staff and training regimes at the club. I’m not a medic or a sports scientist, but I just cannot believe that it’s simply bad luck that we seem to have so many recurrent injuries and ‘three week’ twangs that result in the player missing months of a season. No smoke without fire and all that, eh? Maybe it… Read more »

David S.

The culls are unfortunate but necessary. The new UEFA and FA squad rules mean we are only allowed to have 25 players over the age of 21 at the club. That means that every time a player turns 22, we have to ask ourselves: Are we really going to play this player? Do we need them badly enough to use on of our 25 slots on them? If not we have to let the player go somewhere where they will play. Yennaris is promising, but can we honestly say that he was on track to displace Sagna/Jenkinson or Arteta/Ramsey/Flamini in… Read more »


Isn’t it better actually for us & for them? The earlier we make a decision on the kid the better for him so he can start make his own career. Anyway at the age of 22 it is kind of easy to make a decision. I’m a fan of spanish, german and from last season portugals system of having 2nd team in professional leagues. There they can prove themselves and really LEARN to play football. This security in playing for nothing in U21 league doesn’t help. Kind of security zone. It has nothing to do with reality. That’s why the… Read more »

David S.

You are exactly right ABC the new rules are aimed at forcing clubs to make hard decisions on youngsters. You can no longer hold on to a play (like we did with Bendtner) and say “well maybe they will improve one day” When they turn 22, you have to play them or send them packing.

The Öwl

A lot of you need to shut up. Arsenal is renowned for giving youngsters a chance. It’s difficult to know what the plan is behind this cull, but it looks to me like they’re streamlining the academy. So that would mean more players pushing through to the first team, less who don’t make it. I’m for that. Aren’t you?


Looks like a lot of ppl are pissed off that we did not win the January transfer window cup.


I can see Kris Olsson occupy Arteta’s role.

Costa Gooner

New chap in charge @ acedemy probably thought too much dead wood so got rid double lively. He’s got proven track record where as Brady just didn’t cut it so let see what happens over the next couple of years.Think long term & keep the faith.

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