Crowley to join Arsenal tomorrow as Roberts joins list of departures

Arsenal will complete the signing of talented Aston Villa midfielder Dan Crowley tomorrow, with the England U17 international due at London Colney to finalise his move to the club.

It is expected that the signing of Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre will also be completed in the forthcoming days. Whilst Sanogo will go straight into the first-team squad for the forthcoming campaign, Crowley, who is regarded as one of the country’s outstanding prospects, is expected to begin life at Arsenal in the U18s.

The midfielder has consistently caught the eye at international level and was the scourge of Arsenal U18s as Villa ran out 6-1 winners in the Academy League late last season. He will add to the club’s collection of promising central-midfielders, joining Kristoffer Olsson, Jon Toral, Gedion Zelalem and Jack Jebb.

Arsenal have also confirmed today the departure of 10 youngsters, with striker Philip Roberts joining those who were already revealed to have left the club. A Republic of Ireland youth international signed from Norwich City in 2010, Roberts shone for Arsenal at U18 level during his first season at the club but failed to impress during a loan spell with Inverness Caledonian Thistle in Scotland this campaign.

Sanchez Watt, who scored on his first-team debut in the Carling Cup, has also been let go. The striker has experienced six loan spells away from the club in recent years and it has been clear for some time that he was not going to make the grade at Emirates Stadium.

Midfielder Conor Henderson, meanwhile, featured against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup in 2011, but has seen his young career plagued by injuries. He joins left-back Jernade Meade, who featured twice for the first-team, in seeking pastures new.

Goalkeepers James Shea and Reice Charles-Cook have also departed, with Shea being released despite making the bench for the first-team in all four senior competitions. Defender Sead Hajrovic, who previously spent time on loan with Barnet, demonstrated much improvement this season but couldn’t force his way into Arsene Wenger’s first-team plans.

The departures of striker Nigel Neita and left-back Samir Bihmoutine are unsurprising, with neither player having fully imposed themselves on the U21 set-up. The versatile Josh Rees has offers from several clubs and is expected to make a decision on his future shortly. Centre-back Zach Fagan has also been released following the expiry of his scholarship.

Five further youngsters who were let go by the club have already found new suitors. Martin Angha and Kyle Ebecilio have joined Nuremberg and FC Twente respectively, midfielder Jordan Wynter has secured a deal with Bristol City, Elton Monteiro has signed for Club Brugge and Craig Eastmond will become a permanent Colchester United player on July 1st.



  1. We’ve got an Akpom and we’ve still signed Sanogo. I really don’t understand this. We should bear with our youngsters otherwise we’ll be left surprised when they leave the team without having the chance to impress.

    1. I think it’ll be joel missing out tbh. He’s done well at betis despite the stats but loan him for another season and he may well develop an affinity With his loan club, especially considering he’s unlikely to start regularly for the infancy of his arsenal career. A 21 yr old with potential would make for a great third choice striking option and unlikely to remonstrate on the basis of lack of opperutnies though i would’ve liked to see campbell get a chance. Would send Olsson on loan though would prefer the Dutch league. Not physical enough for the championship yet I think. Aneke ought to go to a championship club IMO. Bit of a dilemma at the cm position as Ive mentioned before with zelalem, toral, Olsson. Think crowley is more of an attacking mid as he has a greater tendency to dribble and seems effective in the final third. Same for aneke though he’s currently bit of an outsider with regards to making it to the first team.

    2. The players that were released, were/are not good enough. Arsenal have done the right thing and will also need to show the same ruthlessness with some of the first team players who are not good enough. Time for a change

    3. Auxerre had already been told that Wenger is going to asses Sonogo during per-season. If he likes what see he will go straight into the first team, otherwise he will be loaned but not to Auxerre or any other club in France.
      Akpom is nowhere ready to be near the first team. Next season on loan at a championship club. Season after next a loan to a lower tier premiership club.
      Unfortunately the one likely to never reach the first team is Benik Afobe. Currently injured and being overtaken by Sanogo. Unless he has a dramatic change of fortune, it does look like he will make it at Arsenal. I still rate him. I think that with time and good coaching he could become a good premiership striker. Because he played in a team that were so dominant at youth level (in term of possession and numbers of through ball) he never had to learn to play with his back toward goal. He is only starting to be a more rounded striker. Also the near telepathic connection he enjoyed with Chuck Aneke made him look much better than he really was. The same thing happen with Arturo Lupoli. Lupoli looked very good because of his very link-up play with Bentdner. Without him, he was just average.

    4. Sonogo is 19-20. He will be loan out or make the first team. Akpom is 17-18 and he will also be loaned out or make the first team. Sonogo was basically free and he looked promising. Afobe is the one who needs to watch out first and foremost.

      I have seen Akpom play many times and he obviously lack the extra quality needed for the first team. I don’t think he will make the first team yet. but going for one promising player only is all wrong. What if he failed? Lets try a new one younger and going for the one and only again? Yeah… I think you get the point.. its not working. we need a few good players and the best will make it. Hopefully the one who is actually doing fine will stay in the team and not like the one we have invested in most should play no matter fucking what…

    5. Its so true that i cant believe 20 people would dislike this comment. Just because they are brought in from oversees it doesnt mean they are going to make it, just look at all those we have let go recently. Its time to give our homegrown lads more of a chance to make it to the first team. Why is that so bad of a statement please tell me

    1. Towards the end of this season Crowley did start playing u21 level for villa. As far as I’m aware he’s still 15 not 16?

  2. Oh and whilst I love the fact we are signing crowley not sure about announcing the fact I’m completely against it! It’ll be massively unfair on him though i agree with decker. Subject to loans etc of other players feel crowley is better of being promote to u21s ahead of zelalem IF any, though may be better starting them both off for u18s. Jebb to be promoted to u21s.

  3. 18 gone and rising, now how about park, chamakh, santos, denilson, & bendtner to free up some real wages and 5 places in the 25 man squad?

    the 94 age group has been pretty poor, with only ansah and Jeffrey still at the club. The more I think about this rumoured re-structure the more it makes sense. rather than promote players to u21, let them play a decent mix in in both leagues and both cups, so that it keeps their feet on the ground and unites the squad more. a squad of 28 (so far) should be enough to play all 4 tournaments, but I still think there will be a couple more additions to that number.

    as for the fifteen, 92 & 93 born players, I see no value in keeping them in the academy squad. obviously they can still play under 21 next season. but most if not all are above that standard now and obviously the likes of Wilshire, jenkinson and oxlade-chamberlain are already permanent fixtures in the 1st team squad, whilst frimpong and ryo appear to be “in”. so for the others promotion to the first team squad, should be automatic, though in the majority of cases they are not ready, so then loans need to be found. boateng and galindo are the most suprising names still at the club for me. both have flattered to deceive whilst on loan and in boateng’s case he has not even impressed me at u21 level. still I am sure he is in last chance saloon, who knows he might just step up to the plate.

  4. who has seen the best of zelalem ? the best players of our youth sad for him he’s the best there , dont judge before watching the best of him

  5. Yanbi, Olsson is probably the most technically gifted player, the player with the most composure on the ball, that we have in the ranks right now. He might not make it, but it won’t be for a lack of talent!!!

  6. Really shocked that we let Meade leave, sure he made Santos look like the kid. A very decent third choice lb, and with experience he might well have become the next Cole.

    1. It was meades decision. Him and wynter was offered extended deals but both turned them down to seek first team action

  7. in age order

    Campbell, miyaichi, wellington, sanogo, afobe, chamberlain, ansah, Jeffrey, gnabry, lipman, akpom

    that is our current list of professional under 21 striker/winger talent……wow!

  8. JB Is Wellington silva eligible for a work permit yet and if not how much longer does he have to stay on loan?

  9. i realy like this site & z accompanid comments. now a days z only place where we read some optimistic msgs of this descending, run by big fat liars & v untransparent club.

  10. We arsenal fans expected arsene wenger to start big shopping now from bcos we need trophy this season by almeans

  11. Gnabry is an absolute beast for his age …. Hope he keeps developing, If he does watch out Premier league he is gonna rip it !

  12. What ever happened to the Jap winger on loan at another club?So many kids signed and so many released shows how tough it is .

  13. Great acquisition , Crowley is definitely the new Wilshere , in my opinion …I have seen the two play …is better than Zelalem , but I highly quote Gedion too don’t get me wrong .

  14. Sanogo is a best , if he can stay injured free…he has been injured so many times those 2 years….this boy can be one of the best CF in the next ten years.
    My favourite Sanogo’s goal

    1. Giroud used to do those kind of goals in france. He was top goal scorer, won the french league and had a lot more experience and a lot better physics than Sonogo… yeah do the math.

      1. Yeh cos all french forwards are the same?!?! Jackass this isn’t even a video of the french league…go figure!

      2. yeah we will see whos the jackass when the season starts. My point is Giroud was proven and a lot better than Sonogo. I know this isn’t even in the french league which make it even worse. That guy said he can be the best cf for the best 10 years… then what can Giroud, Akpom, Afobe and Ansah do? Because of all those injuries Sonogo has been having as a youth… he is likely to have those too in the senior level. Those needs to be in consideration too. You have no idea what you are talking about. Jackass.

      3. “I don’t know what I’m talking about” your the one disagreeing with a top 10 football clubs decision to invest in youth. If the guy was 31 years old fair enough but he’s 20 hopefully third choice striker and if he’s injury prone that gives a chance for Akpom, Afobe (who doesnt look the world beater we thought he would be) and others to steal a chance. How is it even worse that its not in the french league??? Bizzare….What a wild assumption about his injuries are you a doctor NO, I didn’t think so. Same could of been said bout RVP, plenty of youth players have injuries while there bodies are growing. Who cares he cost us practically nothing and if he is a world beater fantastic, if not, you win some you lose some. Stop getting your knickers in a twist.

      4. Actually in term of experience, for such a young player Sanogo has a lot of experience. He also had to carry Auxerre the same way Zaha did for Crystal Palace. Pressure and expectation should not faze him too much. Giroud is a late developer so he spent a lot of time in lower league in France. Until his last season at Tours in league 2, he was not even a regular in lower league. He has onlyone and half seasons in league 2 and two full seasons in league 1. Sanogo has played more full games at league 2 level than Giroud, despite being injured.
        Physically Giroud may be more full up than Sanogo, but Sanogo is much quicker.
        Regarding Giroud’s goal, at Montpellier he scored a lot of headers and tap-ins from Belhanda. The main difference is that maybe his link up play is much better than Sanogo. However with good coaching, he is viewed in France as one for the Future.

      5. I don’t claim to know anything more than the average person who’s done a little research but why do people make things up to further their argument? Yaya Sanogo has played under 25 games in 4 years so he ain’t that experienced after 4 seasons and he definitely hasn’t carried Auxerre anything like Zaha, also he hasn’t played more games than Giroud in ligue 1. You say “The main difference is that ‘maybe’ his link up play is much better” so basically you don’t know lol. To be fair the guy’s an enigma, we really won’t know much about him until pre-season.

      6. @Jedi,

        Reread my post. I said that Sanogo has played more league 2 games than Giroud not league 1.
        Sanogo has played more than 25 games. 25 is the number of games he started. That makes a big difference. He started quite early.
        Also Sanogo played in tournament at Youth international level. Giroud never experienced that. Sanogo was part of the team that beats Spain at U19 level to win the European championship in 2010. The victory was well deserved. That team included Gille Sunu, Coquelin, Griezman, Bukambu. Everybody expect that generation to have a very good career.
        Look at the importance of the game he played and the goals he scored and their quality. For the last couple of years, Auxerre has been a basket case. Fighting at board level, relegation, coach leaving, being rehired, financial trouble. The only constant used to be their academy, but then that dried up. They neglected youth teams for a couple of years and relied on hired mercenaries that they could not afford. Now that they are skint they want to again rely on their academy. The problem is that following their shabby treatment a lot of the youngsters don’t trust them. A lot of them are going to leave.
        Regarding Sanogo link up play, that is one of his well known weakness. If you don’t know that, then please refrain from insulting others. A member of my family is a season ticket holder at Auxerre, so I don’t need to google him and YouTube him to get information.

  15. Think he’s made a big mistake , would have been involved with Villa under 21s next term, definitely wont be anywhere near the Arsenal 21s, but good luck , great prospect if given the opportunity.

  16. Just this season we made Akpom and Zelalem Arsenal U21 regulars at 16 years of age, and Gnabry was given his Premier League and Champions League debuts at 17. If Crowley is good enough we will fast track him and give him the games his talent demands. He will make excellent progress amongst one of the best crop of youths we’ve had in a long time.

  17. I don’t even think he’ll make the next gen squad, but listen he is a talent, nothing like wilshere in physic , and doesn’t play like a young jack, but is very special, lets hope he doesn’t get lost at Arsenal as sooooo many young home grown talents seem to.

  18. You are yet to provide any reasons why he won’t be getting anywhere near the u21s / next gen squad. The only concern I have is how stacked we are at midfield, he may be better than them but with the amount of older players there he might not get much game time at u21s. But then again maybe he will just go straight to the front of the line like zelalem has.

  19. Physically I don’t think he’s there yet, wilshere was a beast at 16 , also I think Crowley is much more a old fashion number 10 type of player who will end up playing just behind a front man. Don’t think he’s a natural midfielder in that wilshere mould. And as you say there are many midfielders at youth and reserve level, really hope your not all saying in two or three years, ” Anybody know what has happened to Danny Crowley?”.

  20. I think there is something lacking in the arsenal academy. They take the best talent and corrupt them. What went wrong in our academy? What happened to thomas Eisfield? He was great during pre season. The likes of JET, Ebelicio, luke freeman, watt, afobe, and many more. Onces bilieved to be top talents but all floppd.

    1. You really could look good with great players around you, but when you play u21 games, you should be able to dominate if you’re gonna take you’re place in first team, and after that you should be able to prove yourself on loan. They’re all top talents but it’s long way to the first team from there and just few of them will make it. Eisfeld got some injury problems in later part of season, but really should make more effect at u21 level. Aneke has done these, but could be heading for another loan before given a chance, with championship or premier league team this time, we’ll see what happens in pre-season.

  21. Elton Monteiro was not let go he got offered 4 times more the money and a three year deal Club Brugge .. what would you do one year with aresnal on £100k or or three years on £380K

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