Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Midfield options for Arsenal U23s provide encouragement

Arsenal U23s have an abundance of midfield options at their disposal, and that is set to be added to, with the club informing Catalin Cirjan that he will be promoted from the U18 squad when the new campaign begins.

A creative midfielder, Cirjan joined Arsenal last summer and was impressive during his first season at the club, during which he demonstrated his ability to operate in the number ten position or alternatively slightly deeper in midfield.

Cirjan will still be eligible for the U18s next season but it is anticipated that he will be more heavily involved with the U23s, and the 17-year-old, who is already tied to a professional contract, is widely seen as one of the standout prospects in the academy.

There will be much competition for places in midfield for the U23s next season, with Miguel Azeez (pictured) and Ben Cottrell also seen as very exciting prospects.

Matt Smith, meanwhile, has been involved with the first-team squad of late and it is expected that next season he will either be involved with Mikel Arteta’s side or gain experience out on loan.

Ben Sheaf and James Olayinka are still at the club but neither is likely to be an U23 regular next season. Sheaf, as has previously been mentioned, could leave permanently after gaining experience on loan, while Olayinka, who is back from a spell at Northampton Town, could be sent out on temporary transfer again.

There is also Jordan McEneff to consider, but the Irish youngster hasn’t exactly set the world alight with his performances since joining Arsenal. McEneff could be part of the U23 side for the first half of the season but may go on loan thereafter.

Then Charlie Patino should be taken into consideration – given how quickly he has developed, it has to be expected that the England youth international will be involved with the U23s at some stage next season.

Overall, there are many options for Arsenal to consider in midfield at U23 level next campaign and it will be intriguing to see who pushes on the most and edges closer to the first-team.

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

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Mentally Drained Gooner

we had signed a very promising left back Joel Lopez from Barcelona couple of seasons ago but haven’t heard much about him since. how has his progress been?

Johnny 4 Hats

They used his knee ligament to fix Bellerin.

Johnny 4 Hats

Does anyone remember when, about 5 years ago, I put £100 on Daniel Crowley playing for England?

I do.

Cygans Parting

Well I’d keep the betting slip just incase. He has had a very good season and along with Jude Bellingham has kept a poor Birmingham city side in the championship. ??For your bet

Sac, Lac & Crack

He’s declared for Ireland now.

Johnny 4 Hats



Old Bloke.

Yes apparently his great grandfather had a caravan holiday there in 1911.

Hail Gus!

Crowley is an anglicised form of the Irish surname O’Cruadhlaoich

Sac, Lac & Crack

I’d also like to know about Sam Greenwood if possible.


Would be a massive mistake to rely on youth coming through. We are already carrying a number of promising but half baked players in midfield as is. Guendouzi I’d strive to keep if I were Arteta. Perhaps send him off on a strong loan (with maybe a swap loan)hope he gets the game time to play more assess in a season. Willock is a good back up to continue chipping away with whatever opportunities come by wherever on the pitch. He’s an ever willing runner and diligent,certainly an upgrade to Elneny for utility. AMN I’m unconvinced is suitable for midfield.… Read more »


I have a feeling Azeez may be fast tracked into the first team, as he fits the profile of what we need in centre midfield.

Cottrell is an intriguing prospect. Probably needs to develop the kinesthetic intuition that small players need in particular.

Greenwood looks like a deep lying forward in our system. Superb technique.

Haven’t seen a lot of Cirjan.

Dave cee

I think Cottrell looks an excellent prospect in the AM/10 position, maybe just needs another season to develop physically

Hail Gus!

Tyreece John-Jules – still injured?

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