Jeffrey leaves Arsenal after ten years of service


Anthony Jeffrey’s decade-long association with Arsenal came to an end today after it was announced that the youngster’s contract with the club, which was due to expire in the summer, has been terminated by mutual consent.

It is always a little dispiriting when a player who has risen all the way through the club’s academy departs, but, in the case of Jeffrey, it has been a decision that has been in the making for some time, with the winger having struggled to command a regular place in the club’s U21 side.

Despite frequently impressing for the U18s since making his debut at that level as a schoolboy, and turning in some memorable performances in the FA Youth Cup last season, Jeffrey, at the age of 19, has struggled to break into the second-string squad, let alone the first-team.

Renowned for his searing speed, Jeffrey possesses a penchant for torturing full-backs and is capable of delivering dangerous crosses, but he had been rather frozen out at Arsenal, with the club dithering over whether to offer him a professional contract last season before eventually doing so in May after he spent time on loan at Stevenage.

Despite his new deal, Jeffrey still found opportunities rather hard to come by this season, which necessitated a loan move to Boreham Wood. He has been in impressive form for the Conference South side, but is believed to have other options on the table having trained with Eredivisie side RKC Waalwijk last week.

Jeffrey, who joined the club’s Hale End Academy as an under-9 in 2003, becomes the first member of the 2011 intake of scholars to depart the club, although one member of that batch of players, Serge Gnabry, has already made a considerable impact in the first-team.

ANTHONY JEFFREY STATISTICS
U21 apps: 4

European apps: 1

U18 apps: 48 (13 goals)

13 comments

  1. Shame for the lad but from results by the U18 andU21 it is clear there is much room for improvement?

    Why are the results so poor do you think? Players not good enough or bad managing or are they just being given licence to experiment and as such not be concerned on results?

    Winning is a habit they say

  2. Agree and if Frimpong does play on Friday or more so not impress if he comes on then he needs to go

    Strange Eisfeld has not broken through and Ryo is not Arsenal standard

    1. Team for Friday

      Fabianski
      Jenkinson koscielny vermaelen Gibbs
      Arteta Ramsey
      Chamberlain rosicky podolski
      Bendtner

      Viviano mertesacker monreal frimpong zelalem giroud ryo

  3. with players like wilshere and gnabry being added to the first team at 17/18 and making an immediate impact, other players who are even a bit older who haven’t made that kind of impact are being judged negatively by comparison.

    i hope that arsenal recocognises that there are normal- and late-bloomers in this world, some of whom are worth keeping. i mean, of our current senior players, how many of them were setting the world alight at 18? was koscielny? giroud? yet at 25, 26, 27 they are great first teamers for arsenal. who’s to say yennaris won’t reach the same level? or aneke? or eisfeld? or miyaichi?…or whoever.

    i don’t want to see the club booting out good talent just because it’s doesn’t sparkle at 17.

    good luck to this kid anyway.

    1. Arsenal is not a charity. They get rid of players who are not good enough. They rarely get it wrong too. Jeffrey is out but we got Maitland-niles who is miles better. We got some U16 who have a big chance to at least reach the same level as Jeffrey within 2 years to come. If you are 17-18+ at Arsenal, you need to show real quality to stay. Those players you mentioned actually played well in the highest division. We only got 1-2 places for the youngsters to take every other year or so. Miyagi got his chance on loan and got some chances here but its not good enough.

      Draxler is 20, already a full international and is playing in the highest level. Arsenal try to hunt the best talent out there and these local lads are compared to them. Just remember that. Vela is playing in spain and I have seen him play many times in Spain but he is not world class IMO. You need to have that special. Every year we bring in 3-4 players we believe they can become something… every year we bring in new young players for the first team that those players are compared with. Gnabry, jenkinson, wilshere, gibbs, ramsey, chamberlain and so on…. all those were young when integrated for the first team. You either take your chance or lose it to someone else and fight all the way up like Kos, giroud, sagna and those players did.

  4. I read alot of these forums and the comments and keep up with Arsenal at all levels. Agree totally with nnamdi_badoo about the players that will or need to go. Can’t see the fixation with Yennaris, some people will go to the point to criticise Wenger for not picking him then pointing out his better than Arteta. Really? Come on! He did have a good half against Man Utd but if he can’t get into lower league squad let alone XI. There isn’t much chance of him progressing at Arsenal. Good luck to Anthony Jeffery, think Holland might be decent bet.

  5. Other players we have let go at early ages and have gone on to become first team regulars elsewhere is due to the fact that they get first team football when they leave Arsenal. If we keep these kids until they’re 22-23 then it’ll be too late and they would’ve gained no experience at first team level in a settled squad. Sending them on loan every season isn’t always the best option either. Steve Sidwell is a prime example of this situation. If he had stayed at Arsenal he wouldn’t have had the same opportunities as he had at Reading and so on.Players need to leave to improve their career, which is why clubs put buy back clauses in the deal when they seel young players on, such as Carlos Vela.

  6. With the amount of players who’ve left in recent years, I’d expect at least a couple to eventually end up becoming good premier league players, but that wouldn’t prove we were mistaken to let them leave, even if they become better than good.

    As it happens, I’ve a feeling there are going to be tons of former Arsenal players spread throughout leagues in a few years, much more than there’ve been in the past. I still think 5 or 6, perhaps more, from Wilshere’s youth team will end up having good long careers in championship or above, and that points to excellent work within the club.

    The main point of the youth team is obviously to try bring through a few players for us, but I also think it’s important for the bigger clubs to ensure that they send out the many who don’t make it with an excellent base of skills, ensuring that, even if not quite intentionally, they do good for the wider football world, as well as giving the players themselves a very decent chance to make a good career.

    I think we’re doing this pretty well now and, even given the unpromising fortunes so far of those released this year, have a feeling a lot of those who’ve left will do well in the end.

  7. Part of the problem is Wenger’s reluctance to insert youngsters in otherwise full strength first team lineups other than when forced by injury emergencies. In this way Fergie to full value out of squad level players like O’Shea, Evans etcs and some like Neville Butt Wes Brown even bloomed a bit above that level given the chance though clearly were never going to be superstars. Look at Wellbeck too – he wouldnt have cone through if he was at Arsenal.

    But this requires giving more chances unforced. Wenger could have more money to buy superstars if he did this. Hard to think that guys like Yennaris would not reach that level as say utility playets if given a role like that.

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