Thursday, June 1, 2023

Talented Medley not yet ready to solve Arsenal’s defensive issues

There have been tentative suggestions of late that Zech Medley could be officially promoted to the Arsenal first-team squad, but, while such a scenario seems unlikely at present, it should still be a very eventful campaign for the young defender.

Medley was on the periphery of the first-team last season, and made three senior appearances in addition to being named on the bench in the Premier League.

In pre-season Medley was again involved with Unai Emery’s side, but, despite a couple of impressive showings in the earlier games, the match against Angers demonstrated that the 19-year-old still has much to learn.

In that game Medley frequently squandered possession in dangerous areas, while his positioning was also questionable.

Given his height and technical ability, there have been claims from some supporters for Medley to be given as much playing time as possible, especially when Arsenal’s current central-defensive situation is taken into account.

It seems clear, though, that Medley isn’t quite ready for that level of responsibility yet, and he must iron out the aforementioned errors before he can be considered as a genuine option in the Premier League.

He could still, however, be heavily involved in the cup competitions for Arsenal this season and will doubtless have benefitted from working alongside Rob Holding, who played alongside him for the U23s recently.

A loan spell in the second half of the season could be hugely beneficial for Medley’s development as he would be able to test himself against senior opponents before returning to Arsenal next summer, hopefully ready to compete for a place in the first-team squad.

For now, Medley will be determined to keep working hard and pushing for further opportunities, even if he is still some way from being ready to feature regularly.

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

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When I’ve seen him, he’s appeared to have the same potential as Upamecano and Saliba. Big, powerful, quick, composed on the ball.

Maybe a loan could bring his confidence and concentration to their levels.


He needs more aggression too. For his size he seems like he can be bullied by a certain type of striker

My Cousin Vinai

How could you possibly assess that?
Both a question of how often have you seen both Saliba and Upamecano, both of whom are playing senior football, to be able to conclude they have the same potential?

In either case, I’m still hopeful on Medley and hope he gets the chance to develop further. But he’s still very raw.


Please stop suggesting loans. Our club doesn’t seem to even care about loaned players.


Promising, just not ready yet. Carabao Cup and U-23’s. If he does well in those, I’d say a loan to see how he is against top opposition. However, if we buy a new CB in this window, he will be fighting Mavrapanos for 4th/5th choice after Holding, Saliba, Sokratis and new CB. Let him fight and show us what he’s got between now and 2021. If he is impossible to ignore, he will replace Sokratis by that time. Win for everyone involved.


Seen him a few times playing for the first team. He doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the level required. I’d be happy to see him stay in the reserves, possibly a loan to inflate his value (if he does well) and then move him on.

Dave M

Title of the fuking year!!!


I love just seeing Rob Holdings name mentioned.
Zach just watch him and you’ll learn.
Rob is calm on the ball, skilful and times his tackles properly. He’s also very handsome.
He will be waiting for Mr Rashford who unnecessarily shoved him over the sidelines and injured his educated ACL


I’m all for giving youngsters a chance but we need a ready made, proven, centre back to slot in.

Yes, by all means give him and others games where appropriate, but we cannot afford to play them at the expense of an experienced addition to the team. We tried something similar with Chambers when he first arrived. It didn’t work and dented his confidence.


Arsenal signed 18 year old Saliba, Juventus bought 19 year old De Ligt…..How fans are able to conclude Medley is not ready for the first team is surprising. How will our young players be ever ready if we do not give them consistent opportunities to grow and develop? It is easy for some to clamor for Arsenal to buy Upamecano for the huge fee being mentioned forgetting he is just 20, and got to the level he is today because his club gave him the opportunity to develop and grow. Give Medley and the other bright young guns regular games… Read more »

Der Kaiser

Keep working Xavh. You’re time / opportunity will come. Invariably years later than young forwards. Rember lack of good centre backs so work at it

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