Arsenal U18s may have finished bottom of their section this season, but matters weren’t quite so bad in the end for the club’s U21 side.
Despite failing to achieve promotion back to the top tier and struggling for consistency at times, Steve Gatting’s side still managed to finish in fourth place with a large amount of players being provided with valuable experience of second-string football.
The young Gunners ended the campaign with three victories in succession and the 4-0 trouncing of Woverhampton Wanderers on Monday night was particularly pleasing with regards to the performance of Serge Gnabry, who scored one goal and played a major part in two others.
Gnabry also scored in the preceding fixture, a 3-1 win over Bolton Wanderers, and, after a season that has been heavily disrupted by injury, he appears to be returning to something approaching full sharpness. The hope is that the German youth international will be able to take that good form into pre-season and, subsequently, a potential loan spell next campaign which would enhance his development even further and would help to make up for the time that has been lost whilst he has been on the sidelines.
The official fixtures for this season may be over, but there are still some further games for the club’s youngsters to look forward to.
An Arsenal U19 side is participating in the AEGON Copa Amsterdam tournament, which gets underway tomorrow, whilst the U16s will play in the Geneva Cup in Switzerland.
Three young Gunners, meanwhile, have recently returned from international duty after participating in the UEFA U17 European Championships.
Marcus Tabi, who can play as a winger on in central-midfield, started all of the Republic of Ireland’s group stage fixtures. The youngster will form part of Arsenal’s new scholarship intake for next season.
Stephy Mavididi and Chris Willock, meanwhile, helped England to progress to the Quarter-Final stage, where they lost out to Russia. It was still a valuable experience for the players, though, especially Willock, who caught the eye with his trickery and dribbling skills.