Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Arsenal youngsters with a chance to impress this pre-season

Pre-season training is underway for Arsenal, and, with many members of the squad having been on international duty this summer, there have been opportunities for some of the club’s talented youngsters to impress this week.

Arsenal take on Lens in a fortnight in their first friendly, and there is a good chance that some players from outside the first-team squad will feature in that fixture. Here’s an assessment of the players that could be involved.

With regards to goalkeepers, Matt Macey is a familiar figure in and around the squad having been named on the bench for the first-team on numerous occasions last season. He has been joined in training by Hugo Keto, a talented young Finnish goalkeeper who was instrumental in Arsenal’s run to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2015/16.

Right-back Chiori Johnson, who also impressed in that competition, has been involved in some of the training sessions this week, as has Krystian Bielik, who, it seems, is still seen as a centre-back for the time being.

In reference to deep-lying midfielders, Ben Sheaf, who made the bench against Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup, is highly regarded by Arsene Wenger, as is Marcus McGuane, an England youth international who is calm on the ball and is also capable of making effective challenges. Gedion Zelalem, back from his loan spell at Rangers, has also been involved in some sessions.

Talented winger Chris Willock has already been mentioned by Wenger as potentially being the next youngster to make the breakthrough at the club, has featured prominently this week, while Reiss Nelson is just 16 but is already regarded as one of Arsenal’s brightest talents. The England youth international, who can play as an attacking midfielder or as a winger, is a key part of Arsenal’s U21 side.

Arsenal are currently short of senior strikers, and two young forwards have been training with the first-team in Stephy Mavididi and Donyell Malen. Both players scored with regularity for Arsenal at youth level next season and are determined to make the step up.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide has, as expected, also been involved with the squad this week, but it appears that the Frenchman, who made such a stellar impact in the Emirates Cup last summer, has been promoted to the first-team, although this is yet to be confirmed.

There have also, inevitably, been some prospects who have been overlooked for first-team training this week. Isaac Hayden and Jon Toral have been linked with loan moves away from the club, while there have been suggestions that Wellington could return to Brazil on a permanent basis.

For the youngsters that are involved with the first-team, the hard work will continue next week, with Alex Iwobi a perfect example of what can be achieved by enjoying an impressive pre-season.



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


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Nasris wallet

Their all probably gonna be shite..




Well there’s the spirit. Oh and btw, they’re*


Well done.. Such a clever comment


*They’re all probably going to be shite … *Nasri is a cunt

Lula da Gilberto

The angriest man on twitter is also the fastest man on arseblog comments. A comment that pessimistic is only really suitable for the upcoming tory leadership campaign.


How about Chuba? I imagine another loan deal is likely.


So Jeorge Bird thinks the Jeff is a part of the senior squad based on his training kit number?


It’s usually a major indicator.


I’m excited to see some of these lads breaking through, especially because they challenge the boys in the 1st team for their places! You only have to look at Iwobi or Bellerin as superb recent examples of how vibrant our youth team can be! Let’s be optimistic of one or two players being able to show their ability to the first team… And I really hope one of those is THE JEFF.

Mr Gooner

I thought W. da Silva was gonna light up the English Premier League with his skills and pace. I wonder if language barrier is an issue for him.

I mean, he’s a 5 star dribbler on FIFA16.


It would be interesting to look at some stats comparing how many youth players make it into the first team squads for premiership teams to see how we compare.

Also, any youth players we let go that people would like to see play for us again?


Would like to see Benik Afobe get another shot.


Afobe and Nortdveit have been our most successful academy rejects by far. Would’ve happily take them both, Afobe especially as he would be perfect for us.

It’s ironic, because neither of those two played a single minute for the first team. Yet we’ve had so many academy players play loads for the first team then ended up in the Blue Square League (Craig Eastmond for a start).


Would I be thumbed down if I mentioned the guy who thinks he’s named after a weather formation?


I don’t think John Snow is a real person


You know nothing.

And he is is, he’s a tv news anchor. You must mean Jon Snow.


@Jeorge, the guardian is reporting that Arsenal will not be enrering a team in the football league trophy, is this correct?


What about Chuba?
I think I saw him in some training pictures.
Anybody have any ideas what will happen with him this season?
I’d like to keep him around.


Imp he’s for serious competition from Madvidi and Malen especially.

I do wonder if Wenger will consider Iwobi as a striker.


Looking forward to seeing some of them


What happend to Vlad Dragomir ?


“… both players scored with regularity next season…” ?? Wow, you’ve gotta hand it to those academy guys, they even do time travel now…or then..or, whenever…


It would help the youngsters if we went a bit further in the Carling & FA Cup. We’ve either gotten out too early (as in the former) or keep getting tough draws.

I miss those days of getting Leyton Orient and putting out a reserve squad and still winning 5-0.

Bank of friendship

We should put out our strongest teams in these cups as they are the only ones we have a chance in under wenger



Vincent Kompany/Jamie Vardinho

We need more youth with hyphenated names like Wilson-DeVere or Bradley-Tibworth.


Any updates on Serge Gnabry?

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