Friday, June 21, 2024

Summer of change expected for Arsenal U21s

Arsenal U21s only finished their season a week ago but thoughts are already beginning to turn to the next campaign, when it seems likely that coach Mehmet Ali will have a very different set of players at his disposal.

Three players – Reuell Walters, Ovie Ejeheri and Kido Taylor-Hart – have already announced that they will be leaving the club when their contracts expire at the end of next month and it is anticipated that others will follow.

In the U21 squad at present there are several other players who have now reached the stage where they need to be playing senior football elsewhere either permanently or on loan, and their departures would allow younger players to step up to play for the second string on a more regular basis.

The frequent changes at U21 level present a challenge for coaches, but it will be interesting to see how Arsenal look to deal with this issue. For instance, there could be a chance for Chido Martin Obi, who has been prolific at U18 level, to get more opportunities for the older age group.

Ejeheri has been the regular goalkeeper for Arsenal U21s this season and has made some excellent stops at times, but his departure will also create a chance for another prospect.

Decisions also need to be made about the next step in the development of standout prospects such as Ethan Nwaneri and Myles Lewis-Skelly, who will both now be looking to push on to senior football in some capacity after gaining a lot of experience at U21 level.

Overall, it seems as though there will be lots of changes at U21 level and it will be intriguing to see which players will be involved next season.

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

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Death by 300,000 Passes

Gutted to see talents leaving the club without even being given a chance. A year ago we lost Omari Hutchinson, now Walters, next year probably we will lose Amario Cozier-Duberry.


Sometimes young players are given bad advice by representatives and relatives, leading to an expectation of playing time or a poor attitude. Very occasioalnally players of promise aren’t willing to work as hard as they should because of innate early talent, leading to stagnation.
It remains to be seen of any of these, or even recent departures, will come good at the senior level.


These players need to play. The reality of getting any
1st team playing time at the Arsenal is extremely limited at best, even then you have to be beyond exceptional to do so. The next natural step for most of these young lads is to take the leap into a first team environment elsewhere to further their careers. That’s not a sleight on Arsenal or themselves, just a logical and natural progression. Good luck to them and well done to the Arsenal academy for shaping and developing these boys so they’re ready to do so.


Maybe they are just not good enough! , ok Hutchinson had a good season with Ipswich but that’s a massive drop in quality to what’s needed to play consistently and the highest level in the premier league!, if they are good enough they will eventually make it and none of the youngsters we have moved on in later years have proved the club wrong as of yet.

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