Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Cirjan waiting in the wings for his opportunity

Catalin Cirjan is still eligible to play for Arsenal U18s this season, but, such is his quality, the youth coaches elected to promote him to the U23s.

Cirjan has been involved in both of the games so far – featuring as a substitute in the win against Ipswich Town in the EFL Trophy before starting the league defeat to Southampton – and a common factor on both occasions was that the youngster was deployed on the right wing.

A player who relishes playing through balls, Cirjan is usually used in the number ten position, while he can also make an impact deeper in midfield.

However, given the presence of the likes of Ben Cottrell and Miguel Azeez, added to the fact that Arsenal don’t have many right wing options at U23 level, it appears that Cirjan could be wearing the number seven shirt quite frequently this campaign.

Playing there could be very beneficial for Cirjan’s development as he will have to track back regularly to help out Ryan Alebiosu, who is currently installed as the first-choice right-back for Steve Bould’s team.

Cirjan certainly has the technical qualities needed to play out wide, and although he doesn’t have blistering pace, he is certainly capable of tormenting defenders.

The 17-year-old received his first taste of first-team involvement when he was called up for the recent friendly against Aston Villa and now he is making further strides in his development.

A return to the number ten position at some stage seems inevitable, but for now Cirjan will look to make the most of being used out wide.

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


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Hey Jorge, nice one. I think for the lazy ones among us (yeah like me) it would be good to give a little more info in the opening paragraph of these pieces, mainly stating the nationality of the player, where he came from (club and country), etc. Bit of background innit.
Cheers, good work allround.


Alternatively just highlight or copy his name and do a web search and you would have got all this well before you had finished typing your request to Jeorge:


Football journalism 101 – state the player’s nationality and age in the first paragraph or two of an article. As it turns out, he is from Romania, and his birthday is December 1st, 2002, so this is his 18th year old.


Does that mean he is 17 atm until he becomes 18 in December, I believe that is how it works?


It would be novel if he aged backwards until he ceased to exist

Parisian Weetabix

or maybe we are the ones who age backwards. maybe the true nature of things is that we should start old and become young, but our stubborn eyes cannot see beyond the bounds of the reality we construct for ourselves to any true point of comparison and so we consider ourselves normal instead, rejecting the hypothetical catalin cirjan anonymarse has dreamed up for us, shielding ourselves even as he reflects a truth we are too cowardly to accept

Johnny 4 Hats

True story – Jeorge is consulted by FIFA every year when they wish to ascertain how much growth Arsenal youth players should be allowed to achieve in career mode.


The updates on youth prospects are some of my favourite news posts. Thank you! I especially like the loan reports which this season I reckon will be really interesting with so many quality players out and about. It’s nice to be able to keep track of them all in one place.

Is ESR definitely staying with Arsenal this season? Haven’t heard much about him in pre season.


I think he’s injured…

Teryima Adi

Could be our future No. 10.


Announce Aubameyang!!!!


Jeorge, as ever great work with the reports! I wondered whether in your work you hear much of other clubs’ youth team workings? I’d be interested to know whether all youth players jump from position to position as often as ours seem to. Thinking of players like Jay-Emmanuel Thomas (and others) who seemed to play multiple positions but never solidify one. I see the benefit in learning other roles but equally wonder whether its a hindrance not having years of experience in a set position. Just interested anyway!


Hi Jeorge. I`m a brit gooner and have been for decades, but live and work in Romania, and as it happens, a village five minutes from Domnesti, the club that Cirjan was spotted at. I was just wondering, how, he was actually spotted? Was it simply a recommendation? I had watched Domnesti play quite a few times, and do watch Clinceni (which is the next village) who have in fact, recently been promoted to Liga 1 here in Romania, and who also do have some pretty good youth talent too. Anyhoo, very interesting to know! Thanks for your time.


Offtopic – are you part of Arsenal Romania Supporters Club? If not it might be worth checking them out. I am a Romanian gooner with family in Domnesti but I live in Manchester now 🙂


Hi Alex and thanks for the mesage! Belong to the FB group, but will check the Supporters Club out too, thanks. Small world though! Wife (who is Romanian) and I built a house in Ordoreanu, just a few kms from Clinceni if you know it – going back to Cirjan, I am sure I saw him playing when he was around 15, and if it was him, we do have quite a talent there. I don`t rate the senior Clinceni team too much I have to say, although again, from what I have seen, the youth set up is good… Read more »

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