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)