Levi Laing could be the first of many Arsenal youngsters to leave

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Last summer there weren’t many departures from the Arsenal academy, with only a handful of players moving on, but the situation could be rather different this year.

Arsenal have 39 youngsters on professional contracts as well as a further 19 on scholarship contracts, and that is before next season’s scholarship intake is even considered.

Therefore, it is possible that a significant amount of players could move on.

One player who falls into that category is defender Levi Laing, who had the unusual experience of playing against Arsenal U18s yesterday despite still being contracted to the club.

Laing has been informed that he is unlikely to be offered a professional contract when his scholarship deal expires at the end of June and is currently on trial at West Ham United.

Forward Luke Plange could also be let go along with centre-back Jason Sraha.

With regards to the more high-profile youngsters, Folarin Balogun’s future remains unresolved, and there is also increasing uncertainty regarding whether the club will be able to keep Kido Taylor-Hart, with the talented winger yet to sign a professional deal.

Ben Sheaf is on loan at Coventry City and is likely to depart permanently, while Joseph Olowu, who is seeing out the season on loan at Wealdstone, is poised to be let go.

Jordi Osei-Tutu has seen his loan spell at Cardiff City ruined by injuries, and, at the age of 22, his time at Arsenal could soon be coming to an end.

Left-back Tolaji Bola and goalkeeper Deyan Iliev are also possible candidates to depart in what could be a rather busy summer at academy level.

It will also be interesting to see whether the club persist with their new policy of loaning out a host of youngsters, with the likes of Ben Cottrell and Joel Lopez amongst the candidates to head out on temporary transfer next season.

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

 

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Tanjil

Noo let’s try to hold onto Taylor Hart! 😔

David J M

We really need to keep Balogun.

Biggles

I’d like to see him stay as well but I fear he’ll be on his way this summer. It will be a loss if he does leave as he’s certainly a talent.

CAZORSAKANELLI

no we don’t

Twatsloch

Any mention of Balogun and out come the “Balogun is the saviour of Arsenal” brigade. A bit like the “if only we’d kept Martinez” gang.

mjc1892

Odd comment. I’m not sure saying you’d like to see a young player who has remarkable amounts of promise stay with the club equates to viewing him as a saviour.
I’m one of the “brigade”, as I think from what I’ve seen in his brief first team cameos he has a massive amount more potential than any other striker that’s come through the academy since I’ve been supporting Arsenal. I dont see him as a short term solution to anything, and nor- i dont think- does anyone else.

Biggles

What a bizarre post. I don’t think many, if any, of the people who want/hope Balogun will stay – me included – consider him to be anything like the “saviour of Arsenal” (if only, we could certainly do with one, couldn’t we!). Most Gooners, I suspect, recognise that Balogun is a talent – albeit still a pretty raw one, but a talent and, if at all possible, we want our club to keep talented players – particularly younger ones. Given our overall record of dealing with younger players – some successes of course, but more not I suggest – look… Read more »

Tombo

let him go to Chelsea, we can buy back the ‘ready made’ version in 20 years

allezkev

Thanks Jeorge, I wonder if the overall financial state of football will make many more clubs be more ruthless in the culling of fringe players that in other times they might have been more inclined to retain?

Lucas

That may be true but at the same time the best value is when solutions are found internally and some players just bloom late. Always a tough call

Ex gooner

Who needs youngsters when we have super agent Kia and his gang of washed up Chelsea stars?

Steve

Probably better letting them all go, fitness has always been problematic, if we buy youngsters from other stables the inmure and usually stay injured. Let’s not ked ourselves all our buys either arrive injured or after a lengthy time getting match fit they then get injured. I believe our medical facility makes them far to comfortable , and should they play 3 games on the trot they then suffer fatigue,, administer an April and move them on.

C.B.

‘administer an April’?

Never heard that phrase before, can you explain?

Worth a re-read before posting (ked, inmure…) so we can understand and have a chance of agreeing.