Friday, June 21, 2024

Arsenal U21s have the depth to cope with Bradley Ibrahim departure

Bradley Ibrahim is set to leave Arsenal, with Fabrizio Romano reporting that the midfielder will join Hertha Berlin on a permanent deal.

The move is a somewhat sudden one given that there wasn’t any speculation that preceded it, but it is understandable if the 19-year-old is looking to leave in search of first-team football.

Ibrahim has been on the bench for the Arsenal first-team on three occasions, including against Burnley in the Premier League this campaign, but he would probably have had to wait for a lengthy period to get a sustained chance of making the breakthrough.

Mikel Arteta had identified Ibrahim as a player with potential a couple of seasons ago as he called upon the youngster for a first-team friendly against Brentford B.

In the ensuing period Ibrahim has often trained with the first-team but he only really stepped up to the U21s on a regular basis this season.

Ibrahim’s performances for the U21s this campaign have, in the main, been of a high standard and he has provided some excellent assists.

Last season he played a key part as the U18s reached the final of the FA Youth Cup and benefited from the guidance of Jack Wilshere.

Losing Ibrahim at this stage of his development is disappointing for Arsenal but, in the short term at least, they have the necessary depth to cope at U21 level.

Jack Henry-Francis is a useful option, while 17-year-old Myles Lewis-Skelly could now push even closer to the first-team setup.

Michal Rosiak is still eligible for the U18s but may now get more opportunities with the U21s and Miguel Azeez, who has a vast amount of experience of second-string football under his belt, remains at the club.

It will be interesting to see how Ibrahim fares in Germany but the U21s won’t be left depleted if he does depart.

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

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I do have a really odd feeling that young players, and I mean under 20, will struggle to get a look in under Mikel. I’ve always been of the opinion that if you’re naming 6 outfield subs per game there’s always room to sneak one or two in, and depending on the game give them some minutes. But look at last night, Cedric, who is clearly never playing for us again, is there – what does that say to youngsters looking to break through?

Death by 300,000 Passes

I don’t find your feeling odd at all, it is very obvious that that’s the case.
Arteta values experience and team leadership so much because he feels they are crucial for his highly energetic system to work out, but on the negative side this indeed leaves zero chance for youngsters to break into the first team.

Al M

Spot on!

Santi’s Phonebox

I don’t agree at all. The young players that Arteta actually focuses on ARE the young one’s like Nwaneri and Myles-Skelly. If they show real talent at that age, they may have what it takes to make it IF they also have the mentality. By the time a player is 21, if they haven’t broken into the first team they aren’t going to make it. We love watching young players get blooded and saw many under Wenger, when the team was bad. How many youngsters did Wenger blood during the Invincible era or winning the double?

Al M

Ibrahim to be followed by another bright light, Sousa
It is what happens when your not given a sniff of first team even when a change is required
Nwaneri and Walter’s next


We all want to win trophies right? Would we rather Arteta play kids who clearly not up to the job? Look at Patino, clearly not ready for the first team and he is probably the pick of what is on loan. Did you see Okonkwo? Weak hands poor positioning and bad decision making, yes he has looked ok against Division two players, but against a championship side he was found out. Sousa is a brummie lad has trained with the first team loads of times, been on the bench, been on tour with the first team. If he was good… Read more »


Do you notice how top of the table Liverpool or Arteta’s mentor, Guardiola occasionally integrates young academy stars in the line up? It doesn’t have to make you drastically drop form if managed properly. Besides, Arteta has always used his ‘experienced players’ and he still exits cup competitions early and periodically produces dreadful performances.
So, these things aren’t absolutes. It’s all about proper management and having the courage to take a chance on them


A first team player will always get preference if he is available.
5 youngsters leaving at least. 2 permanent, 2 on loan plus marquinhos on loan with an option to buy.


If we’re selling them for money, that’s amazing. That literally means our academy is working and producing good players. They may not have what it takes to be in a top top Premier league team, but are seriously good professionals ready for a first team career. Once or twice in a generation we’ll get a Saka, but most years its amazing if we simply make some money. Balogun isn’t exactly ripping up Ligue 1 this year is he? And he was a better prospect at 18 than anyone currently on the Arsenal academy’s books.

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