Monday, April 22, 2024

Rojas aims to become first-choice goalkeeper for Arsenal U21s

This could be a significant summer of change with regards to Arsenal’s young goalkeepers.

Decisions will need to be made on the futures of Karl Hein and Arthur Okonkwo, who are both part of the first-team squad, while James Hillson, who is still technically an academy player at the age of 23, also needs some clarity on his future.

U21s goalkeepers Ovie Ejeheri and Hubert Graczyk will also be looking to gain experience of senior football in some capacity, so a chance could open up for Alexei Rojas to become Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper at that level.

Rojas has long been seen as a player with vast potential, as shown by the fact that he trained with the first-team when he was still a schoolboy.

During the course of his scholarship contract not everything has gone to plan for Rojas as for long periods he found himself behind Noah Cooper in the pecking order for the U18s.

However, with Arsenal having decided to release Cooper, Rojas is now in pole position to push on. The Colombia U20 international commands his penalty area well and is also impressive at distributing the ball.

Rojas gained experience in the UEFA Youth League this season and made his Premier League 2 debut for the U21s last month as a substitute against Southampton.

The 18-year-old is highly rated at the club and it seems likely that he will be given the chance to play regularly for the U21s, which in turn would move him closer to the first-team setup.

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

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