Saturday, June 15, 2024

Arsenal U21s suffer frustration in EFL Trophy

There was frustration for Arsenal U21s this week as they were knocked out of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy (previously known as the EFL Trophy and the Papa Johns Trophy) by Peterborough United.

Despite being able to call upon players including Myles Lewis-Skelly and Ethan Nwaneri, Mehmet Ali’s team fell to a 3-0 defeat against the League One side.

Arsenal were also eliminated at the second round stage of the competition last season and in truth it is very difficult to progress to the latter rounds of this tournament.

It is worth noting, however, that many of the senior teams also field some youngsters themselves, so it isn’t always a case of an U21 team taking on opponents who are much older than them.

Nonetheless, this competition has still provided Arsenal’s youngsters with some useful experience this season, with the 5-0 win over Exeter City in the group stages a particular highlight.

With Arsenal U19s also out of the UEFA Youth League there will not be too many competitive matches for some of the club’s older academy players in the New Year.

Therefore it seems likely that a lot of players will head out on loan in January, with centre-backs Taylor Foran and Zane Monlouis amongst those who could benefit from spells elsewhere.

Winger Amario Cozier-Duberry and left-back Lino Sousa could also be loaned out if they are not needed to provide cover for the first-team.

For the youngsters that remain at the club there will still be something to focus on as the U21s will be looking to compete for the Premier League 2 title – they are currently in fourth place, seven points adrift of leaders Tottenham Hotspur.

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

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