Saturday, December 10, 2022

Arsenal youngsters get opportunity to impress Emery

International breaks can often be very tedious for supporters, but for Arsenal youngsters who aren’t away with their countries, such occasions can be extremely eventful.

With a host of first-team players playing across the world, a large contingent of youngsters were drafted in to participate in training sessions with the senior squad over the last couple of weeks.

Defenders Julio Pleguezuelo, Zech Medley, Tobi Omole, Tolaji Bola and Dominic Thompson were all involved along with midfielder Charlie Gilmour, winger Nathan Tormey and goalkeepers Deyan Iliev and Karl Hein.

The sessions gave the aforementioned players the opportunity to impress Unai Emery and to test themselves against the members of the first-team squad that weren’t on international duty.

While it is difficult to envisage any of these players receiving much first-team game time this season, they are now on Emery’s radar and could be selected to participate in further training sessions if injuries strike later in the campaign.

Another interesting development from this week’s training sessions was that U23 coach Freddie Ljungberg was heavily involved in proceedings.

Ljungberg has made an impressive start to his tenure in charge of Arsenal’s youngsters, who are in second place in Premier League 2, level on points with leaders Everton, who they face next week.

Arsenal’s style of play at U23 level has mirrored that of the first-team this season, with Ljungberg’s side playing the ball out from the back and closing down the opposition at every opportunity.

The U18s, meanwhile, are back in action this weekend when they host Reading and they have yet to appoint a permanent successor to Kwame Ampadu, who left the club to join Monaco’s coaching staff.

It is anticipated that Ken Gillard, who was Ampadu’s assistant, will take charge of the team against the Royals and could be given the job on a caretaker basis.

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



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The under 23’s played a match against the first team in training this week (the ones not away on international duty). That must have been a decent learning curve for them, playing against the likes of Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Mustafi, Bellerin, Monreal, Kolisinac.
Aubameyang played 45 minutes. He was back in training earlier than expected after he allegedly refused to board the flight for Gabon’s African Cup of Nations qualfication match away against South Sudan on Tuesday due to unsatisfactory conditions. Gabon still won 1-0 without him.


AUB is too big a player to be anywhere near these countries, he’s not safe there.


Yeah right, he should’ve carefully selected his place of birth dragging his mom along.


PEA was born in France


Laval, France? He chose to play for Gabon though. Wont comment further, i dont really know about the ‘conditions’.


Spain would also have been a possible country he could have represented

Ordnance Dave

Similar to Adebayor. When you are that big a fish in such a small African pond, he was probably expected to pay for flights hotels etc.


That forthcoming Arsenal v Everton top-of-the-table match is on Monday evening so it clashes with the seniors against Leciester unfortunately.

Merlin’s Panini

Haha! Look at those poor Arsenal youngsters! They’re getting soaked!

Merlin’s Panini

Unai has obviously inherited his sense of humour from his father, Dick.


No Zelalem?

Paul Roberts

That’s a lot of defenders being looked at.


Zech Medley must have made quite an impression as he was named on the bench for the match against Leicester following the international break.
Maybe Tolaji Bola will also get a look in, given that we have some injury problems among the senior squad, at left-back.

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