Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Talented trio receive first-team recognition

Five academy players were named on the bench for the Europa League game away to Sporting Lisbon last night, with three of those receiving their first callups for a competitive fixture.

Matt Smith and James Hillson have been substitutes for the senior side before but for Reuell Walters, Mauro Bandeira and Charles Sagoe Jr it was the first time that they had been named in the matchday squad.

All three players have been involved in first-team friendlies in the past, but this was still a significant step in their development as they edged closer to making their debuts.

One thing that the trio have in common is that they are all versatile players.

Walters, for instance, is mainly a right-back but he has been used increasingly often at centre-back recently while he also featured at left-back for the first-team in pre-season.

Bandeira, who is of Portuguese descent, is usually a midfielder who can operate effectively in both an attacking and creative sense. In recent games for the U21s the 19-year-old has demonstrated his versatility by playing at right-back.

Sagoe Jr, meanwhile, usually plays on the left wing but has had to fill in up front at times due to the U21s being short of strikers.

The fact that these three players can operate in different positions will undoubtedly have helped them to get on the bench and they will hope for more involvement with the first-team before the end of the season.

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

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C.B.

Good luck to them, a big step up but hope they can achieve it and get even more great Hale Enders into the team!

OdalGooner

I’m a grown man – and I’ve never played football in a club, except for a year when I was .. 6, maybe. I’m trying to put myself in the head of these boys, walking onto the pitch for a european away night, alongside Smith Rowe, Saka, Partey, and all the rest. I hope they felt like a million bucks. They must have been dreaming about this since they could kick a ball. Congratulations lads. I hope to see a lot more of you in the future. ..And even though you didn’t play, I hope you take this with you,… Read more »

Oddo

If we can wrap up the league with, say, five games remaining, that would be the perfect opportunity to give some debuts.

OdalGooner

That’s a glorious level of optimism, sir 🙂

Also, if Saka has already scored 5 against City, we can rest him for the second half!

Jimbo1

Hmmm. That would require Arsenal to win their next 7 games and City to lose at least 4 in the same time. We can only hope.

Oddo

It was meant tongue in cheek!

🤣

Teryima Adi

Good to know we have these talents in our conveyor belt.👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

Raghib

Thought that was Gnabry at first!!

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