Talented Bunjaku recieves just reward for impressive season


For a player who only made one substitute appearance in the Premier Academy League last season, this campaign has been a significant step up for the precocious talent that is Alban Bunjaku.

Bunjaku graduated from the famed Hale End Academy with a reputation for possessing superb technical ability and an excellent passing range. Naturally,  many were eager to see how the Romford-born youngster would perform on the under-18 stage.

They were made to wait considerably longer than expected, however, as an injury picked up late last season continued to trouble Bunjaku over the summer and eventually resulted in him missing the first couple of months of the new campaign.

When he eventually recovered, however, Bunjaku’s impact was almost instant, as he found the net against Chelsea in just his second start, before further underlining his talents with a goal against Portsmouth and a hat-trick against West Ham. He has since gone on to score nine times this season, making him the under-18s joint top scorer along with Josh Rees.

Statistics, though, do not in themselves do justice to Bunjaku’s overall ability or the glimpses of genius that he has displayed on several occasions. His ability to carve open defences with acute through balls is remarkably canny to Jack Wilshere’s style and, although he may be lacking a little in terms of pace and physicality, he is capable of playing passes that some of his team-mates can only dream of.

In the first part of the season, Bunjaku usually operated as the playmaker in a 4-2-3-1 formation, similar to Cesc Fabregas’ role for the first-team, whilst, of late, he has been deployed just behind the two main strikers at the tip of a diamond midfield, where he is particularly effective as the freedom of the role, given that he has three midfielders to cover behind him, provides him with the space to weave his magic. Bunjaku has also played on the left flank on occasion, although he is less effective in that role as he possesses a natural tendency to cut inside which can leave his team vulnerable to counter-attacks.

Among the first of the current batch of first-years to be offered a scholarship, Alban now has his sights set on securing a professional contract at the club, a reward which will surely come his way if he continues his current rate of progression.

Yesterday he was able to tick off another box in his development as he made his debut for the Reserves against Wigan Athletic. Although the circumstances were not ideal, with the Gunners having gone down to ten men following the dismissal of Ignasi Miquel, Bunjaku was still able to gain valuable second-string experience, although, given the talent that he has displayed this season, it is somewhat surprising that such a feat did not come earlier in the campaign and even more puzzling still to ponder why he was overlooked for the FA Youth Cup.

Perhaps part of the thinking behind those decisions was to keep his feet on the ground given the hype that surrounds him, but Bunjaku’s talent is one that is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Providing all goes well, he could be involved in the final two fixtures for the Reserves before heading off to America for the Dallas Cup. Following that, he would be entitled to enjoy a long summer break and, as far as next season is concerned, it is difficult not to see him laying down a case for a regular starting spot for the Reserves.

There are still some aspects of his game that require improvement, and he was particularly wasteful in front of goal for the under-18s against Tottenham last week but, in terms of  his all round zest and ability, much can be expected of Alban Bunjaku in the future.

49 comments

  1. Wasnt Bunjaku a small little winger before?

    Hes 16 so he can definitely get stronger and faster.

    If he had more pace he would be amazing.

    Jack jebb though looks class he looked brilliant when he came on for the arsenal under 18s

  2. Wouldn’t be surprised if we see him involved in pre-season, maybe on bench for game against Barnet. I’m sure Wenger will want to have closer look at him.

    Yeah and Jack Jebb also looked very good when he came on, reminded me of Lansbury, good technique and driving the team forward.

    England U16s playing tonight so we should be able to catch a glimpse of Austin Lipman.

      1. If we had Lansbury this season instead of one of Diaby or Denilson, i’m willing to bet we’d be leading Manure and not chasing them at the moment. I’m not saying Henri isn’t overrated, maybe he is, maybe he’s underrated. What i do know is that he’s become a better bet than the aforementioned ‘Arsenal midfielders’ *cringe*

  3. I think he does have pace, especially when he has played on the wings. I remember webb or rees playing a through ball for him and he outpaced his defender very easily and just missed
    Its more of not wanting to use it then not having it

  4. I would love to get some info on Chuba Apkom ( I hope I got the name right)
    what kind of a ST is he? tall, target man or a small, mobile type of striker and how good of a finisher is he?
    heard he’s very highly rated by club and country

  5. Seems he is a great talent. What kind of team will go to the dallas cup as Henderson and Afobe were tweeting about it the over day. Bunjaku and Aneke playing together would be great.

  6. I just hope these guys like aneke, bunjaku, akpom dont turn thier backs on England and play for thier parents country.

    Have you lot see frimpoing twitter page? Alot of gooners are unhappy with him because he seems very disrespectful to England despite England giving him and his family a visa, shelter, food etc.

    1. calm down john!!! ok his parents are living a better life in england than in ghana…but they don’t live in england for free…they pay their taxes,gas,water,food etc…….don’t forget it!

    2. You speak like hes a homeless refugee or something lmao. If he wants to play for the place were he was born then let him what the hell is the big deal.

    3. Did it not occur to you that perhaps they work rather than relying on handouts. It says quite a lot about you that you’d automatically assume that of them.

      If you want to talk about disrespect to England, look no further than the criminal family of England captain John Terry. Or does the fact they are white and were born here make it alright?

    4. That was a very ignorant comment you made my friend. Ignorant with a tad bit of racism and i really hope you dont repeat some of the things u say on here coz you’ll find trouble definately. You think definately think before you say things, just a bit of advice

    1. yeah you are right , matt le tissier is certainly the player he look like the most…very technical player with no physical attributes

  7. No hes the next coming and has already won the ballon d’or and is better than Cryuff. You complete wankers, apart from the clips have you watched him play. Hes a talented player but way down the pecking order and didnt make the bench for the FAYC games- puts him on the same level as Edge without the 2 year pro contract……..

  8. john/blackman- you mugs have got a f….g cheek, do you really think everyone is broke like you. Have you been to Ghana, there are a lot of people enjoying a much better standard of living than you here.

  9. James :I would love to get some info on Chuba Apkom ( I hope I got the name right)what kind of a ST is he? tall, target man or a small, mobile type of striker and how good of a finisher is he?heard he’s very highly rated by club and country

    Chuba Chuba is quite striking physically – quite tall and strong looking and a flair type of player. Reminded me of some 70s Brazil style player.

  10. Just a bit of general interest (don’t shoot the messanger – no offence intended)England u17s last night beat the mighty Spain 2-1 in the Elite Qualifying Round for the Euro finals in May. Only one team from the group could go through. And it was England

  11. Ppl need to calm down. Frimpong if he doesn’t want to play for England why the he’ll was he playing for the England youth teams.

    Ghana is a third world country the standard of living in uk is far greater than Ghana lol.

    Racist? Come on it’s called betrayal, treachery what frimpong has done

    1. I don’t know, maybe because the English teams played near him? Going overseas for youth development when a perfectly adequate substitute is closer is idiotic.

      What Frimpong did was in his full right to do. What you are saying is that he should be a victim of of his parents choices and be forced to play for England, when he clearly has shown the desire to be closer to his heritage.

    2. u need to calm down john! We are talking about frimpong not about ghana!!!
      By the way what u think about connor henderson….an english man born in london who played with england under16 and now represent ireland…….lol….who the hell henderson was playing for england youth?

    3. Get your facts right mate you know nothing about ghana, if you did then you’d know it is a developing nation with a boosting economy through its resources of gold and cocoa. Nobody is starving there so there is not a third world country and im growing really tired of you ignorant racist and childish comments and i think jeorge should bar you from leaving them from now on. I would love to hear you say these things in front of a black man i really would.

  12. John how is what Frimpong done betrayal like it or not he now wants to play for Ghana not England get over it. In any case let’s hope he does well for Arsenal first.

  13. blackman :u need to calm down john! We are talking about frimpong not about ghana!!!By the way what u think about connor henderson….an english man born in london who played with england under16 and now represent ireland…….lol….who the hell henderson was playing for england youth?

    That’s just football mate , they can do whatever they want get over it…..but talk about ghana , u know nothing about this country!

  14. Frimpong stated he wanted to play for Ghana but he was still playing for the england under 19 team if I remeber correctly.

    Conor Henderson as always played for Ireland youth teams.

  15. Henderson hasn’t said he wants to play for England whilst playing for Ireland under 19s.

    Frimpong says he wants to play for Ghana but still plays for the England under which I don’t understand

    1. For the most part Frimpong is doing great for england. He works hard and is a prime example of what talent and hard work can do for you. But he wants to follow his heart and do what he wants to do. I don’t see any problem here. It’s like people who wants to work in different country and environment.

  16. John – Would be interested to know your thoughts on who this son should represent? he has just been born in the UK, his parents have lived here 6 months. His mother was born in Thailand her parents were from Malaysia and Laos, his Father was born in Belgium whilst his english father and scottish mother were living there temporarirly. The English Father had an Irish Mother and Dutch Father and the Scottish Mother had an Italian Father and a Welsh Mother . Dont even get me going into the great grand-parents, one of which was an American G.I.!!! I know this kid, most importantly to me is his Father supports Arsenal, considers himself English and fucking hates Spurs!!

  17. Shut it u slags this is a forum about alban bunjaku not about ghana or africa or fringpong or the ghana economy state or fringpongs economy state or wheather he wants to play in the park or in he’s back garden stick to the topic or shut u slaaags.

  18. TJ DA GOON :

    If we had Lansbury this season instead of one of Diaby or Denilson, i’m willing to bet we’d be leading Manure and not chasing them at the moment. I’m not saying Henri isn’t overrated, maybe he is, maybe he’s underrated. What i do know is that he’s become a better bet than the aforementioned ‘Arsenal midfielders’ *cringe*

    lol WOW. Essentially saying Lansbury would be winning us the title. Considering Lansbury has done nothing at the top level you really can’t be throwing around those kinds of statements.

    1. Actually i can – and did. It’s oh so easy when i’ve witnessed Henri’s drive and determination, on a couple of occasions this season, in the dying embers of a game, with the scoreline level, getting onto the end of an attack to snatch the points for Norwich City.

      Then i watch Diaby and Denilson constantly give the ball away and then jog back, as if they couldn’t give two shits about any repurcussions, while we get countered. I see them getting out-muscled, out-thought and out-fought every time they play. How many points have ANY of them won for us this season? Go and ask the Norwich fans who they would rather have out of the three. And also, don’t come back at me with talk of Henri’s playing Championship football and the PL is a whole new ball game because Newcastle and West Brom (they were both plying their trade in the Championship last season with pretty much the same squads they have this season) have both come to The Grove this season and proven that 9 times out of 10, application will beat technical ability, an air of arrogance and an excrutiating lack of effort! Blackpool are a shining example of a team who have punched well above their weight through sheer application and REAL spirit and togetherness. Do u know how much Charlie Adam could have been bought for in the summer? A lot less than Diaby or Denilson, that’s for sure. Not anymore though! AW must be REALLY pissed with these two as they’re (non)performances this season have had a major detrimental effect on their market value and he won’t be able to sell them for anywhere near what he could last summer. Only a fool will pay big bucks for any of them, despite their ages and their promise. The buck stops with Wenger though. What ever happenened to the motivational skills he once possessed? Where have they gone? That is AFC’s actual NO.1 problem nowadays. Fuck all the other problems! Fergie motivates his shit bums to go out there and win by all costs – and he aint the only manager out there that does that. Arsene, unfortunately is living in a dream world. We have a very talented squad and what he said about them being his best ever isn’t as far from the truth as many people may think. But if you can’t motivate them, what’s the point? Barca are the best! Hands down! But it isn’t through sheer technical quality. When they play, and their opponents have possession of the ball, it’s as if they ask the question: ‘How dare you?’ and set about getting it back ASAP!! Why can’t this group of lads go out there and seize the moment? I’m afraid the answer lies a lot deeper than Diaby, Denilson and the other shit bums (yeah i said it)!! Shit bums!!

  19. Kevin :John how is what Frimpong done betrayal like it or not he now wants to play for Ghana not England get over it. In any case let’s hope he does well for Arsenal first.

    He came to England with his family for the benefits of living here. Is it too much for him to show a bit of loyaly to his adopted home? We have too many people these days over here with no sense of identity to the country.

    On an other matter – the academies were set up to develop British players, not to act as a finishing school for top foreigners. They shouldn’t be allowed to come over until later. There must be some way to sort out this mess.

    1. lsoe what u said is wrong, false and even stupid. first nobody knows frimpong’s background so it ain’t correct to say he is a refugee!! loyal? What kind of loyalty he have to show to england…..he have not signed a contract with england, he only have to be loyal with arsenal!!!!
      The academies was never set up to produce british players!!! that’s just crazy to think that is arsenal mission after we produce kids from everywhere form london to japan….arsene wenger said our mission is to produce the best players no matter where they come from!!!
      Arsenal is a club made by english people (working class-far left) than irish than blacks from the carabeans than people of asian descent than blacks froms africa and now people from all accross the world….. the soul and spirit of this club is multinational!!! so if u want a club only made by and for british u should find a new one………;-)

      1. Sorry mate, u’ve got it all very wrong. This club was based in London, England. There’s nothing wrong with having a few foreigners playing for us but to have a team without a single British English player is a disgrace.

  20. Well Blackman – Sir Trev has said the exact words over the years:The Academies weren’t set up to act as a finishing school for foreign players”.

    Something should be done about this.

  21. @jay …only the best play no matter where they came from…that’s arsenal’s politics like it or not.

    @lsoe…..who cares about trevor brooking, wenger always said than he only wants the best , the ones who can give arsenal something more…..and by the way the last who made it from the academy to the first team are two english (wilshere and gibbs) and a polish (chesney) so u don’t even realize than arsenal’s goals is to put young local lads on competition with the best (at least some)youngsters in the world…..competiton is what lazy london boys needs!! and the result is england having a futur legend called jack wilshere!

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