Hayden and Akpom join first-team for trip to Marseille


Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden will be part of the matchday squad for tomorrow’s Champions League encounter away to Marseille.

Akpom made his Premier League debut against Sunderland on Saturday after impressing for the first-team during pre-season, whilst Hayden has trained with the senior side on several occasions already this campaign and was a late substitute in the final friendly against Manchester City in August.

The Hale End products were amongst five members of the U21 squad who trained with the first-team this morning, along with Thomas Eisfeld, Kristoffer Olsson and Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill.

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe

The latter pair, however, will instead be part of the Arsenal U19’s Youth Champions League encounter against the same opponents, for which schoolboys Kaylen Hinds, Chris Willock and George Dobson have also been called up.

As far as the first-team is concerned, Emmanuel Frimpong has been left at home, whilst Serge Gnabry is not eligible to participate in the Champions League having been left off the squad list, but the German winger could still feature for the U19 side. Olivier Giroud made the trip despite his participation being doubtful due to injury.

Eight first-team players are currently sidelined, with Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski, Tomas Rosicky, Gedion Zelalem and Santi Cazorla all absent, whilst Emiliano Viviano, Nicklas Bendtner and Ju-Young Park have remained in England.

As well as Hayden, Akpom and Zelalem, the U19’s will also be without Jon Toral through injury, but can call upon the likes of Jack Jebb, Hector Bellerin and Austin Lipman. The Youth League fixture will take place tomorrow afternoon prior to the Champions League game in the evening.

Arsenal first-team squad for Marseille fixture: Wojciech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Mathieu Flamini, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere, Lukasz Fabianski, Isaac Hayden, Ryo, Nacho Monreal, Carl Jenkinson, Thomas Vermaelen, Chuba Akpom.

Possible U19 team to face Marseille:


Bellerin-O’Connor-Siemann-Ormonde Ottewill




subs: Huddart, Moore, Uade, Maitland-Niles, Dobson, Willock, Hinds.




  1. With 7 defenders in the squad, it seems that Hayden is CM cover. Unusual that he was taken ahead of Frimpong (possible injury/fitness problem?).

    1. he’s not in the squad. the confusion arose as there were two different lists on uefa.com, but gnabry, eisfeld and martinez are not in the champions league squad, although they may be added in at a later date.

  2. Jeorge, what do you think of Ajayi? Does he have the potential to play for the 1st team one day, or is he signed just because there isn’t enough of defenders in our youth teams?

    1. He seems a promising player judging by his first two games, but he turns 20 in November so will really have to prove himself quickly if he is to have any chance of breaking into the first-team squad.

  3. Hayden play both in midfield and defense so he will be good to have. Hopefully he will take his chance once he gets it. Very very good player

  4. Does anyone know if there’s an official site or social media via which you can keep up to date with the u19 cl games (commentary, reports etc)?

  5. JB – Is there a reason apart from injury that the 3 schoolboys appear to have leapfrogged these scholars into the YCL?

    Alfred Mugabo
    Tom Dallison
    Elliot Wright
    Jamaal Raage
    Julio Pleguezuelo
    Renny Smith
    Daniel Crowley

    Crowley, mugabo I know I are injured whilst pleguezuelo appears to have had a hold up with his registration. but I am certain the other 4 are fit?

    1. i think hinds and willock were included to provide attacking options off the bench. dobson is very highly rated, but it’s surprising he’s been chosen over wright and dallison.

      1. I would have thought smith would have been nailed on in the absence of toral, whilst raage would also have provided attacking options in place of akpom. still hinds and willock are performing well and would surely be scholars if not for their age.

  6. Jeorge, who would you have picked between Hayden and Frimpong..Do you think Frimpong has what to takes or would you have preferred coquelin..3. Which established player can you use in describing Jon toral,Dan crowley and chris willock? I will love it if you take time out to answer me jeorge. Thanks

    1. Frimpong is the more established option, but he must still have some fitness issues as he hasn’t played for the first-team yet this season. I don’t really like making comparisons in style between youngsters and established players as each player has their own individual qualities, but all three are very promising.

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