Monday, July 4, 2022

Underused James Hillson needs game time to progress

James Hillson has been at Arsenal since initially joining on loan in February 2019, but the young goalkeeper hasn’t had many opportunities to show his talent.

Indeed, in the season just finished Hillson didn’t make a single appearance, with his only involvement in a matchday squad coming as he was named as an unused substitute for the U23s on five occasions.

There were some positive moments to take from the campaign for Hillson, such as travelling with the first-team for their pre-season training camp in Scotland and also being the third-choice goalkeeper away to Manchester United.

However, it must be a hugely frustrating situation for the 21-year-old, and it is somewhat surprising that he hasn’t yet been loaned out.

During his time at Arsenal Hillson has made just five appearances in total – with his most recent competitive outing coming in September 2020.

Although goalkeepers often find themselves having to be patient for chances at youth level, Hillson’s situation is bordering on ridiculous and it is hoped that next season he will get some opportunities to play in some capacity.

If he remains at Arsenal then a loan spell could be a good option for Hillson, and he could follow the lead of fellow goalkeeper Tom Smith in heading to a non-league club.

Alternatively, he could look to leave permanently and start afresh elsewhere, but either way Hillson deserves the opportunity to play regularly and show what he is capable of.

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

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Mirrors the situation with Fran Stenson in the women’s team.


How many appearances did all of our keepers make this season in all competitions and even on loan? I don’t think Leno made double figures?
Which keeper was used the most after Ramsdale?

Mikels arteta

Possibly Hein before he got injured for Reading


Totally agree with the sentiment. He needs to be playing. But if he’s not good enough for our U23s then let him loose. I don’t understand it when we keep players we know we don’t want/need and potentially ruin their opportunity to succeed elsewhere.

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