Thursday, July 18, 2024

Arsenal face transfer decisions on U21 prospects

There were some high-profile players in attendance as Arsenal U21s started pre-season training this week, with Charlie Patino and Mika Biereth amongst them.

Before the end of next month the club will have to make decisions regarding some of the older players in the U21 squad and what the next steps should be for them.

At the age of 22, Omar Rekik is the oldest player in the U21 setup and would be classed as a senior player if he was to be registered in Arsenal’s Premier League and Champions League squads this season.

Rekik endured a hugely frustrating end to last season as he didn’t play a single game for his loan club Servette, who made an error in not registering him for league matches. Capped three times by Tunisia at senior level, Rekik has also had loans at Sparta Rotterdam and Wigan Athletic but could now leave permanently.

The decision on Biereth’s future will inevitably spark much debate following his superb loan spell at Sturm Graz, during which he built upon an impressive stint at Motherwell. If he isn’t going to be afforded a chance to impress in the Arsenal first-team then now is perhaps the best time to sell Biereth, although it is certainly a difficult decision to make given the quality that he possesses.

Forward Nathan Butler-Oyedeji and midfielder Salah-Eddine are other candidates for permanent departures. Butler-Oyedeji has already had two loan spells, while Salah-Eddine is a very talented player but has been unlucky with injuries.

Brooke Norton-Cuffy and Patino have gained much experience out on loan but are now at the stage where a concrete decision needs to be made about their futures.

Meanwhile, Khayon Edwards, Zane Monlouis and Charles Sagoe Jr could be loaned out again, while Jack Henry-Francis may head out on temporary transfer for the first time.

It is also possible that loan moves could be arranged for Ethan Nwaneri and Myles Lewis-Skelly if the right opportunity arises, although it may be deemed best for them to remain at Arsenal for now.

Overall, there are certainly a lot of decisions that the academy staff need to make.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Johnny 4 Hats

Bier and Charlie is a match made in Heaven (Ayden).

Johnny 4 Hats

Rekik-nise the Sweet pun.

Olawale Olayemi

Johnny has 4 hats but can clap with one hand 😂

Johnny 4 Hats

I’ve been thinking about this comment for over 2 hours.

But I still don’t get it.

Olawale Olayemi

Out of all these promising players, I hope we keep hold of the couple that will become the best of the lot

Spanish Gooner

Apart from Biereth, Norton-Cuffy is probably the one we should sell this summer. He’s had two solid championship loans and would probably be a good pickup for a Leeds/Ipswich level club.

Patino / Rekik’s stock is lower than their potential right now after poor loan spells so I don’t think we lose anything by throwing the dice on another loan.

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