Arsenal prospect Charlie Patino signs professional terms

Arsenal midfielder Charlie Patino has signed his first professional contract with the club.

Patino, who turned 17 last weekend, joined Arsenal as a schoolboy from Luton Town and is widely seen as one of the Gunners’ standout prospects.

A superb passer, he established himself as a regular for the U18s last season while he was still a schoolboy and has continued to feature heavily at that level this campaign. A debut for the U23s this season seems very likely for the England youth international.

Patino, who has also trained with the first-team on several occasions, becomes the latest member of the current intake of scholars to sign professional terms after Marcelo Flores and Zane Monlouis.

Zane Monlouis signs first professional contract with Arsenal

Centre-back Zane Monlouis has signed his first professional contract with Arsenal.

The Hale End product turned 17 last week and Arsenal were eager to tie him down to a new deal as quickly as possible.

Last season Monlouis, who is composed in possession but still somewhat error prone, featured prominently for Arsenal U18s when he was still a schoolboy.

Injury has disrupted his progress somewhat in recent months but he should feature heavily for the U18s this season and will also be looking to step up to the U23s.

Loan report – Clarke, Olayinka and Ballard make debuts

Harry Clarke was brought on in the 85th minute as Oldham Athletic drew 1-1 with Carlisle United. It was the first competitive senior appearance of Clarke’s career.

Daniel Ballard made his debut for Blackpool, coming on in the fourth minute of their 1-0 defeat to Charlton Athletic.

James Olayinka made his Southend United debut and was booked as he played the whole game in their 3-0 defeat to Salford.

Tolaji Bola played the full game in Rochdale’s 1-0 win versus Burton Albion.

Deyan Iliev played the whole game as Shrewsbury Town were beaten 1-0 by Bristol Rovers.

Matt Smith played the entirety of Swindon Town’s 2-1 loss to Northampton Town.

Ben Sheaf played the full game as Coventry City drew 1-1 with Swansea City.

Trae Coyle was an unused substitute as Gillingham lost 2-0 to Portsmouth. Zech Medley wasn’t involved.

Mark McGuinness was an unused substitute as Ipswich Town lost 4-1 to Doncaster Rovers, for whom Tyreece John-Jules missed out due to injury.

Ideho, Moller, Saliba and Martinelli amongst 62 youngsters in Arsenal’s Premier League squad

Arsenal have submitted their Premier League squad for the first half of the season, with Mesut Ozil and Sokratis the two senior players left out.

Konstantinos Mavropanos, Lucas Torreira, Deyan Iliev, Ben Sheaf and Jordi Osei-Tutu, who are all classed as senior players and are out on loan, have also been omitted from the squad.

All of the other full-time players on Arsenal’s books have been included, including recent signings Nikolaj Moller and Joel Ideho.

As Arsenal only have five homegrown senior players – Hector Bellerin, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Matt Macey and Ainsley Maitland-Niles – their overall senior squad size is reduced to 22 players.

There are 62 players on Arsenal’s Under-21 list, including first-team players Matteo Guendouzi (who is out on loan), Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka, William Saliba, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Joe Willock.

All of the new scholars have been included in the Premier League squad for the first time, with Under-21 players who are out on loan also named.

25 Squad players (*Home grown)

Alves Soares, Cedric Ricardo
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick
Bellerin, Hector*
Borges Da Silva, Willian
Ceballos Fernandez, Daniel
Chambers, Calum*
Dos Santos Magalhaes, Gabriel
Elneny, Mohamed Naser Elsayed
Holding, Robert Samuel*
Kolasinac, Sead
Lacazette, Alexandre
Leno, Bernd
Macey, Matthew Ryan*
Maitland-Niles, Ainsley*
Mari Villar, Pablo
Moreira Marinho, David Luiz
Mustafi, Shkodran
Partey, Thomas Teye
Pepe, Nicolas
Runarsson, Runar Alex
Tierney, Kieran
Xhaka, Granit

U21 players (Contract and Scholars)

Adamo Gaspar, Luigi
Akinola, Timothy Olaoluwa
Alebiosu, Ryan
Awe, Zachariah Olumide Ebunoluwa
Azeez, Miguel
Ballard, Daniel George
Balogun, Folarin Jerry
Bola, Tolaji
Butler-Oyedeji, Nathan Jerome Chatoyer
Cirjan, Catalin-Ionut
Clarke, Harrison Thomas
Cottrell, Ben
Coyle, Trae
Dinzeyi, Jonathan
Edwards, Khayon
Ejeheri, Ovie Prince
Flores, Marcelo
Foran, Taylor
Giraud-Hutchinson, Omari Elijah
Gomes Bandeira, Mauro
Graczyk, Hubert
Guendouzi, Matteo
Hein, Karl Jakob
Henry-Francis, Jack
Hillson, James Andrew
Ideho, Joel
Igaba-Ishimwe, George Lewis
Jeffcott, Henry
John-Jules, Tyreece Romayo
Kirk, Alexander Michael
Laing, Levi Alexander
Lannin-Sweet, James
Lopez Salguero, Joel
McEneff, Jordan John
McGuinness, Mark James
Medley, Zechariah Joshua Henry
Mitchell, Remy
Moller, Nikolaj Duus
Monlouis, Zane
Nelson, Reiss
Nketiah, Edward Keddar
Norton-Cuffy, Brooke Dion Nelson
Ogungbo, Mazeed
Okonkwo, Arthur
Olayinka, Olujimi James Ayodele
Olowu, Joseph Olugbenga
Oulad M’Hand, Zine-Eddine
Oyegoke, Daniel Oladele Akinbiyi
Patino, Charlie Michael
Plange, Luke Elliot
Sagoe Jr, Charles Kwame
Saka, Bukayo
Saliba, William
Smith, Matthew Gerrard
Smith, Tom
Smith Rowe, Emile
Sraha, Jason Robert Osei
Swanson, Zak
Taylor-Hart, Kido
Teodoro Martinelli Silva, Gabriel
Vigar, Billy Joseph
Willock, Joseph George 

Could Cottrell make his debut? The Arsenal youngsters with a chance of featuring in the Europa League this season

Arsenal submitted their B-List for the Europa League yesterday, with a host of youngsters being included.

Here’s an assessment of which prospects are most likely to feature in the competition this season.

With regards to first-team players, Bukayo Saka has impressed to such an extent that he may even be rested for some of the Europa League group games.

Eddie Nketiah is often called upon as a substitute in the Premier League and will hope to start the majority of the club’s games in Europe.

For Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock, who have been on the periphery of proceedings so far this campaign, the Europa League will be vital for them to make an impression as they look to convince Mikel Arteta that they deserve further playing time.

Emile Smith Rowe, meanwhile, is continuing to work his way back to full fitness following injury and will hope to receive some run-outs.

Now comes the interesting part, with a host of U23 players hoping that they can feature in the competition.

It is worth noting that clubs are now permitted to make five substitutions per game and name 12 players on the bench, which boosts the chances of U23 players being involved.

Arsenal have a large first-team squad, but four senior players – Sokratis, Mesut Ozil, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba – have been left out of the Europa League squad for the group stages.

In addition, the likes of Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari are still working their way back to full fitness following injury, so opportunities could open up for others.

Goalkeepers Karl Hein, James Hillson and Arthur Okonkwo are all eligible to feature. However, with Bernd Leno, Alex Runarsson and Matt Macey ahead of them, it seems unlikely that any of the young shot-stoppers will be called up unless there is something of an injury crisis.

Left-back Joel Lopez is still finding his feet in the U23s and is just back from injury, but it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that he could make the bench at some stage.

Ryan Alebiosu, meanwhile, has shown that he can play as a right-back or a winger. It is perhaps a little early for him to be heavily involved with the first-team but his hard-working nature could endear him to Arteta.

Ben Cottrell appears to be the U23 player in with the best chance of making his debut in this competition. The creative midfielder is also capable of filling in on the left side of the defence and could be used at some point, especially if Arsenal qualify for the knockout stages with games to spare.

Another midfielder who many people will be eager to see involved is Miguel Azeez. The England youth international is still establishing himself in the U23s and must improve the defensive side of his game, but his quality, and in particular his passing range, is undeniable, and it would not be a surprise if he was to get a call up.

Then there is Folarin Balogun to consider. Under normal circumstances it would appear a near-certainty that the striker would make his competitive debut in this competition, but he has yet to commit his future to the club.

Despite his contractual situation, though, Balogun has started to train with the first-team more regularly in recent weeks, so he could be involved, although he finds himself behind three senior strikers in the pecking order.

Jordan McEneff has also been included. Despite being one of the older players in the U23 squad he isn’t guaranteed a starting berth for Steve Bould’s side. He still has a chance of getting on the bench for the first-team as the campaign progresses, especially given that he can play in midfield or out wide.

In summary, Cottrell seems the most likely to feature out of the U23 players, with Azeez also having a good chance of making his debut. Balogun, Lopez, Alebiosu and McEneff will also hope for chances.

It does have to be taken into consideration, however, that Saka (who was subsequently quickly promoted) is the only player from the U23 squad that Arteta has played in a competitive game so far. Arteta has named the likes of Matt Smith, Zech Medley and Tyreece John-Jules on the bench for competitive games but they didn’t come on.

With Arsenal facing a packed schedule, Arteta may eventually elect to give some youngsters an opportunity, and it will be intriguing to see what transpires.

Arsenal goalkeeper Tom Smith secures loan move to Dover Athletic

Arsenal U23s goalkeeper Tom Smith has secured a loan move to Dover Athletic.

Smith will stay with the National League side until the end of January.

The 18-year-old impressed during a loan spell with Salisbury last season before his stay was cut short by injury.

With the likes of Karl Hein, Arthur Okonkwo and James Hillson also in the U23 squad, it appeared unlikely that Smith would receive much playing time this season.

An England youth international, he helped Arsenal U18s to win the southern section title in 2018/19.

Azeez amongst 15 youngsters named on Arsenal’s Europa League B-List

Arsenal have submitted their B-List for the Europa League group stages, with Miguel Azeez amongst the youngsters included.

To be named on the B-List players must have been born after January 1st, 1999, and have to have played for Arsenal for at least two years.

Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe, who are all part of the first-team squad, have been included.

U23 players Ryan Alebiosu and Karl Hein (who are included for the first time), Folarin Balogun, Ben Cottrell, Joel Lopez, Jordan McEneff, Arthur Okonkwo, Tom Smith and Azeez have also been named.

Harry Clarke has also been included but will soon be removed after he joined Oldham Athletic on loan.

Goalkeeper James Hillson was included on the A-List as one of Arsenal’s homegrown players

Arsenal’s Europa League B-List

William Saliba, George Lewis, Tim Akinola, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Catalin Cirjan, Salah-Eddine, Marcelo Flores, Joel Ideho and Nikolaj Moller couldn’t be included as they have not been at the club for two years.

Charlie Patino, who turned 17 at the weekend, is expected to sign professional terms soon, and will subsequently be added to the squad.

Any other player who signs professional terms and has been at the club for two years can be added as the season progresses. Players who are currently eligible for a professional deal but haven’t yet signed one include: Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, Ovie Ejeheri, Hubert Graczyk, Alex Kirk, Levi Laing, Mazeed Ogungbo, Daniel Oyegoke, Luke Plange, Jason Sraha, Kido Taylor-Hart, Khayon Edwards, Taylor Foran, Jack Henry-Francis, Zane Monlouis and James Lannin-Sweet.

To recap, Arsenal’s A-List for the competition is as follows

Loan report – Torreira, Iliev and Bola make debuts; Osei-Tutu suffers injury

Lucas Torreira made his debut for Atletico Madrid, playing the entirety of their 2-0 win against Celta Vigo.

Tolaji Bola made his debut for Rochdale, and in turn his first competitive senior appearance, as his loan side lost 3-0 to Hull City.

Deyan Iliev made his debut for Shrewsbury Town and kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win away to AFC Wimbledon.

Zech Medley played the full game as Gillingham lost 2-0 to MK Dons. Trae Coyle was brought on in the 67th minute.

Jordi Osei-Tutu started Cardiff City’s 1-0 win against Preston North End but went off in the 77th minute due to injury.

Joseph Olowu played the full game and was booked as Cork City drew 0-0 with Waterford.

Ben Sheaf played the entire game and was booked as Coventry City lost 2-0 to Brentford.

Matt Smith played the full game and was booked as Swindon Town lost 2-0 to Sunderland.

Daniel Ballard was an unused substitute as Blackpool drew 1-1 with Crewe Alexandra.

Mark McGuinness was an unused substitute as Ipswich Town beat Accrington Stanley 2-0.

Zak Swanson was an unused substitute as MVV Maastricht lost 2-0 to Excelsior.

Matteo Guendouzi didn’t feature for Hertha Berlin against Stuttgart as he tested positive for coronavirus. Konstantinos Mavropanos wasn’t in action for Stuttgart due to an injury that could keep him out for several weeks.

Tyreece John-Jules was absent due to injury as Doncaster Rovers won 1-0 against Portsmouth.

Harry Clarke and James Olayinka weren’t involved for Oldham Athletic and Southend United respectively as their deals were concluded late on transfer deadline day.

Report – Balogun scores brace as five first-team players feature in 10-man U23s’ 3-3 draw with Manchester United

Premier League 2

Arsenal 3 (Nelson 18, Balogun 64, 70) Manchester United 3 (Puigmal 3, 50, Hugill 56)

Folarin Balogun scored a brace as Arsenal U23s came from 3-1 down to salvage a point against their Manchester United counterparts today.

Steve Bould was able to call upon five members of the first-team squad, with Cedric, William Saliba, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe all starting.

There was also an U23 debut for Alex Kirk, but unfortunately matters didn’t go to plan for the talented centre-back as he was sent off.

Despite Arsenal’s strong starting lineup, it was United who took the lead after just three minutes courtesy of Arnau Puigmal.

Nelson, who will be hoping to feature in the Europa League next week, pulled Arsenal level in the 18th minute.

Smith Rowe, in a pre-planned change, was replaced by Miguel Azeez at half time.

Puigmal restored United’s lead just after the break, with Joe Hugill then proceeding to make it 3-1.

Arsenal introduced Jordan McEneff in place of Jonathan Dinzeyi, but it was Balogun who seized the initiative.

The forward, whose long-term future at the club is still shrouded in uncertainty, reduced the deficit in the 64th minute and added another goal six minutes later as Arsenal equalised.

Arsenal’s hopes of securing victory suffered a significant setback when Kirk was dismissed in the 77th minute for a second bookable offence.

Joel Lopez was brought on for Ryan Alebiosu in the closing stages, but in the end both sides had to settle for a point following an enthralling encounter.

Arsenal: Hein; Saliba, Dinzeyi (McEneff, 64), Kirk; Cedric, Cottrell, Willock, Alebiosu (Lopez, 86); Nelson, Balogun, Smith Rowe (Azeez, 46).

Subs not used: Okonkwo, Akinola.

Report – Laing scores own goal as Arsenal U18s are thrashed 5-0 by Brighton & Hove Albion

U18 Premier League

Arsenal 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 5 (Laing 24 (o.g.), Peupion 44 (pen), 90, Miller 45, Moran 60)

Arsenal U18s suffered a disappointing 5-0 defeat at home to Brighton & Hove Albion today.

Despite the quality that they possess in a creative sense, Ken Gillard’s side have struggled defensively and that was certainly the case again today.

Catalin Cirjan was promoted to the U23s in the summer but, having not featured as prominently as he would have hoped for at that level, he found himself back in the U18 side for this game. It is somewhat strange that the club are continuing to deploy him on the right wing when he has previously caught the eye as an attacking midfielder.

Arsenal found themselves a goal down after 24 minutes when Levi Laing inadvertently directed the ball into his own net.

The young Gunners then lost Mazeed Ogungbo, who was operating at left-back, to injury, with Zach Awe, who is normally a centre-back, replacing him, thus unbalancing the team a little.

Brighton added two further goals before half-time. Firstly Cameron Peupion scored from the penalty spot and then Todd Miller made it 3-0.

Arsenal brought on Mauro Bandeira for Omari Hutchinson at the start of the second half, but Brighton remained in control, with Andrew Moran scoring their fourth goal of the game.

Luke Plange replaced Kido Taylor-Hart in the 82nd minute but there was still time for Brighton to score a fifth goal as Peupion got on the scoresheet again.

Arsenal have now taken six points out of a possible 15 so far this season and will hope to respond when they face West Bromwich Albion away next weekend.

Arsenal: Graczyk; Norton-Cuffy, Foran, Laing, Ogungbo (Awe, 26); Patino, Hutchinson (Bandeira, 46); Cirjan, Flores, Taylor-Hart (Plange, 82); Edwards.

Subs not used: Ejeheri, Sweet.