Friday, April 12, 2024

Cirjan and Edwards could be key players for Arsenal U21s

One of the main challenges faced by youth coaches is having to adapt to constantly changing situations with regards to team selection as players are frequently deemed unavailable.

This summer, as is usually the case, has been a period of significant change for Arsenal’s U21 squad, with Omari Hutchinson joining Chelsea permanently, while a host of prospects have gone on loan, including Charlie Patino and Marcelo Flores.

As a consequence, new U21s coach Mehmet Ali will have to adapt his tactics to suit the players at his disposal, but thankfully he can still call upon some very talented youngsters.

One such player is Khayon Edwards, who is now a fully-fledged member of the U21 squad having scored with regularity for the U18s. Edwards, 18, links play very well but his best attribute is his finishing and he is an extremely difficult player to defend against.

Catalin Cirjan should ideally have experienced a loan spell by now, but a serious injury stopped him in his tracks as he didn’t play for over a year. However, the Romanian youth international is now back available and has caught the eye in pre-season.

A midfielder with much flair, the 19-year-old will be looking to build up his sharpness with the U21s in the first half of the campaign before possibly heading out on temporary transfer thereafter.

If they make the desired impact, then it is possible that Edwards and Cirjan could receive a first-team callup in the Europa League at some point over the next few months, with twelve players permitted to be named on the bench in that competition.

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

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I wonder who do the club see as more promising, Cirjan or Patino? Only hear great things about both. Would be nice to see a bit of Cirjan this year.

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