Monday, April 22, 2024

Report: Linfield’s O’Neill latest starlet to strengthen Arsenal Academy

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Arsenal are set to sign Northern Ireland under-17 international Ceadach O’Neill.

The midfielder, 15, came off the bench to make his first team debut for Linfield in the League Cup in October and has followed that up with cameos in the Irish Cup and Premiership.

O’Neill has been on the Gunners’ radar for a while so news of the move isn’t a surprise.  Jeorge Bird, our resident academy expert, revealed in December that the youngster was part of an Arsenal under-17 squad that took part in the Flamengo Adidas Cup in Brazil. Presumably, he was taking part in a trial that was ultimately successful.

The arrival of O’Neill comes hot on the heels of the signing of Brayden Clarke. The defender came through the ranks at Wolves joining as a free agent last week.

Elsewhere, Ethan Nwaneri turns 17 today (happy birthday to him) meaning he can now sign a first professional contract at the Gunners. He already has two appearances to his name, including a promising 20-minute cameo against West Ham earlier this year.

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Johnny 4 Hats

And we all thought phase 5 of Arteta’s plan was Osimhen, De Jong and Inacio.

Little did we know it’s actually emptying all the other academies of their talent. Great to see Mikel building for the future.

And here’s me thinking Mikel a) is desperate to join Barca and b) hates academy players.

PeteyB

I dunno how much input MA will have on these deals. Maybe a cursory look at some stats or a wee video, but I imagine mostly these decisions are being made by BFG & accademy guys

Johnny 4 Hats

I think he seems pretty interested in academy players given he spends his holidays watching youth football in Spain.

Bossman Bill

How are we pronouncing this one? Genuine question

Winterburn Wanderers

Ka-duck

Cannon and ball and arsen’all

I hadn’t been aware that Lewis-Skelly had already signed pro terms. I hope that he and Nwaneri are integrated into the first team setup next season. With some possible departures of our homegrown players this summer we’ll need to replenish the numbers a bit – and I’m hoping these two may be able to skip the loan phase and make an impact immediately (certainly that West Ham cameo raised expectations of this possibility)

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