Arsenal’s scholarship intake for 2020/21 starts to take shape

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We may not yet be halfway through the current campaign, but thoughts are already beginning to turn to next season and the youngsters that will comprise Arsenal’s latest scholarship intake.

Three players – forwards Khayon Edwards and Billy Vigar and defender Taylor Foran – have already been offered deals for next season, while Malcolm Ebiowei has been let go and is currently training with West Ham United.

It is anticipated that some of the more high-profile schoolboys, like goalkeeper Remy Mitchell, defender Zane Monlouis and midfielders Charlie Patino and Marcelo Flores will all be retained along with winger Omari Hutchinson.

A decision must also be made on Edu’s son Luigi Gaspar, who is a midfielder like his father. Gaspar has been largely impressive for the U16s since he joined the club earlier this campaign.

Others are under consideration too, such as defenders Zach Awe and Henry Jeffcott, who have both already featured for the club at U23 level.

These decisions are always difficult to make as some players can make an impact for the U16s but then struggle to step up when they transfer to London Colney and are training full time.

The current crop of U16s is certainly rather talented, however, perhaps more so overall than this season’s first years.

As ever there is the possibility that any of the players that are offered a deal could turn it down and go elsewhere, as Yunus Musah did when he elected to join Valencia.

In addition, the club usually look to add one or two players from abroad to the scholarship intake in order to boost numbers.

It will be intriguing to see who makes the cut as Arsenal look to build next season’s U18 squad.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Devlin
Devlin

What’s the actual reason for the club letting Malcolm Ebiowei go?

Richie

Some websites say he had an issue with attitude and work ethic. He’s already linked with both Manchester clubs. Can see Arsenal regretting this departure in the future. He’s represented England and Netherlands at youth level and is also eligible for Nigeria. Seems like Malcolm in the middle of an international tug of war.

Arsene Wenger Arena
Arsene Wenger Arena

Watch Xhaka’s role being perfected by Patino: https://youtu.be/IH_irR17dC0 (start at the 25 second mark where the football begins). I do not mean to pile on Xhaka, as he is already a much loathed figure, here, and elsewhere. However, the role that he is asked to play, where his talents are best utilized, as the deepest link between defence and midfield, and his inability to perform in that role is highlighted in the young Englishman’s performance at the Montaigu tournament recently.
Please observe the comfort in the turn, and the quickness in the simple passages of play. Please also notice the fluid movement through midfield holes vacated by the opposition, as also the precise balls to the wingers tucking in behind the defensive line. Finally, notice where the passes are made, not to the foot of the attacking player, but in the path of his run. These are, in all honesty, simple things. Add to that the general swiftness of his decision making. Making correct choices at various stages of play is not something that is only natural, as is in Patino’s case, but it is also learned, through practice and consistent coaching instructions.
In Xhaka’s case, the qualities that make young Patino shine in that role, in an elite youth tournament where the best of his peer group play, are absent in him, and his frailities are exacerbated by erratic decision making from the coach. The silver lining is that a better player may emerge if handled in a more specific manner. Not particularly better, for he is a limited player, but one from which more use could be wrung out. On his umbrage at fans, it is a thing that has gotten unnecessarily big, and it is a social media driven controversy. But might I remind my fellow brethren about a wee liitle lad who told us all to fuck in his undies from a Highbury window 😉
All I want from tomorrow is a strong win, Xhaka or no Xhaka. Everything else is just someone else’s narrative. Cheers.

Arsene Wenger Arena
Arsene Wenger Arena

As an addendum, sign Patino up immediately. Lad needs to be nurtured right, as the tools are there.