Sunday, June 16, 2024

Arsenal Youth preview – U23s and U18s in action

Arsenal U23s and U18s are both in action tomorrow in what will be a busy day for the academy.

Firstly, the U18s will host West Bromwich Albion in a 12pm kickoff. Ken Gillard’s side are sixth in the league and have been in mixed form recently having won two and lost two of their last four fixtures.

Khayon Edwards has had an impact as a super-sub in the last two games, coming on to score the winner against West Ham United before winning a penalty against Brighton & Hove Albion.

The forward will hope to be included in the starting lineup against West Brom, and it seems likely that Arsenal will again be heavily reliant upon Omari Hutchinson, who has scored four goals and provided seven assists for the U18s this season.

West Brom are in ninth place and Arsenal ran out 3-1 winners when these sides met earler in the campaign.

Attention will then turn to the U23s, who face Liverpool away at 3pm. It appeared that Steve Bould’s side had turned a corner, but recent results – two draws followed by two defeats – have been concerning.

Bould will hope that Folarin Balogun will be back available after the striker missed the defeat to Manchester City due to injury.

The absence of midfielder Miguel Azeez, who has also been on the sidelines, has had a hugely negative impact on the team, while the defence has also looked rather vulnerable, with January arrival Omar Rekik still yet to make his debut.

Arsenal have work to do in order to avoid relegation from the top tier of Premier League 2 – they are currently four points above the drop zone.

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

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Quick question Jeorge, as someone who knows much more about our youth teams than most, what is your view on the job Steve Bould is doing? I feel like we’ve got a pretty decent bunch of U-23 players but the results don’t seem to be great. Do you think someone else could get more out of them than him or is it due to other factors?


Jeorge. From what I have seen of Azeez, admittedly only a handful of games at youth level, he looks like a class act. Is it a coincidence that the U23s loss of form has coincided with his injury? How far do you think he is away from the first team?


Thanks Jeorge.

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