The injury problems afflicting Arsenal U21s show no signs of receding after left-back Jernade Meade was ruled out for a further month due to injury. Meade made his first-team breakthrough this season, featuring in the Champions League and Capital One Cup, but suffered a blow to his foot in training recently, ending any prospect of the youngster heading out on loan in this transfer window.
Nico Yennaris and Ignasi Miquel have returned to full fitness, and trained with the first-team squad today, but Serge Gnabry, Craig Eastmond, Sanchez Watt, Daniel Boateng, Kyle Ebecilio and Jordan Wynter are all still sidelined and are unlikely to feature in Monday’s Elite Group fixture at home to West Ham United.
The U18s, meanwhile, have been hit by yet more fixture postponements. Their FA Youth Cup tie with Fulham was called off yesterday due to an icy pitch at Barnet’s Underhill Stadium, with a provisional date of next Tuesday being scheduled for the fixture, which has already been re-arranged four times. Steve Gatting’s side will also be playing catch-up in their league programme after the away game against Middlesbrough, scheduled for this weekend, was also postponed.
There was some positive news concerning Arsenal’s youngsters today, however, as Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden joined Yennaris and Miquel in training with the first-team at London Colney this morning. Akpom made the bench for the Champions League trip to Olympiacos last month, whilst Hayden, who can play at centre-back or in central midfield, is also registered to play for the club in the Champions League.
Arsenal will be without Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin and Lukasz Fabianski for tomorrow’s trip to face Brighton in the FA Cup Fourth Round, but it seems unlikely that any youngsters will make the trip to the coast given the club’s pressing need for trophies.