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.