Patient Jebb hoping to step up to U21s

Photo by Kieran Clarke

Photo by Kieran Clarke

At a club that boasts two of the most promising 16 year olds in the country in Gedion Zelalem and Dan Crowley, it would, on the face of things, appear to be very difficult for any other central-midfielders to make a sustained breakthrough at Arsenal, particularly with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla already established in the first-team squad.

Jack Jebb, however, is determined to carry on fighting in adversity. The form and potential of others has limited Jebb, who made his debut for Arsenal U18s as a highly-rated schoolboy, to just three competitive appearances for the U21 side since signing his scholarship at the start of last season, with the youngster often struggling to even make the bench at that level.

After what was, by his lofty standards, a rather slow start to the campaign, Jebb’s performances have picked up considerably at U18 level in recent weeks, with his display during the 2-0 victory over Aston Villa last weekend a case in point. Jebb opened the scoring with an emphatic penalty to set Arsenal on their way to their first league victory since August, but his overall performance was mightily impressive as he frequently found his team-mates with precise passes whilst also taking care not to neglect his defensive duties.

The erstwhile England U17 international will be hopeful that his recent performances for Carl Laraman’s side will be sufficient to see him elevated to the second-string in the coming weeks, although a measure of just how difficult that task will be was provided by the fact that he hasn’t even been named in the squad at U21 level since Crowley was ruled out for several weeks through injury.

If Jebb continues to perform as he did against Villa, though, then he won’t be ignored for long. Now 18, he emerged as a prospective talent around the same time as Chuba Akpom, but, whilst Akpom has shone consistently for the U21s, made his first-team debut and is currently enjoying a loan spell in League One with Brentford, Jebb has had to be sated with U18 football for the time being.

The likes of Kristoffer Olsson, Thomas Eisfeld and Jon Toral, all slightly older players, are also providing something of a barrier to his progress at present, but there has been an extra sense of determination about Jebb in recent weeks as he attempts to prove that he is capable of making the step up from Academy football.

An excellent passer of the ball and a renowned free-kick taker, Jebb signed his first professional contract shortly after turning 17, providing an indication of how highly the club regarded him at the time. He has had to be rather patient since then, with Zelalem and Crowley justifiably earning the plaudits, but Jebb’s time to shine may be just around the corner.




  1. I have always rated Jebb. As the central midfield position is ready crowded with established players and upcoming ones as indicated by you, is it possible to convert Jebb to play in another position, like defensive midfield? Hope he gets to stay on Need to work his socks off. Maintaining a good and sensible attitude is also critical to advance your career at Arsenal.

      1. agree. he is decent at youth level,when you see better midfield better than him at youth level got sold/release i dont see how he gone break in the first team

  2. He’s been f…ked over royally. He played u18s at 15 v Tottenham away and bossed it. He was playing at the level beyond his age group. The next summer the usual foreign contingent arrive and the next summer another set of players arrive and he’s now 3 years later playing u18s football. If he is smart he will leave to a smaller club and start playing first team football next season or end up in non league football at 20. Eg M Randall.

    1. Totally agree. He should have been playing U21 football already. We got a really good player in the academy and decide to bought new players who is a big big gamble. I hope he gets a loan to league 2 football or something. If I was him I would have left the club already.

  3. Couldn’t agree more with the last comment. I think he’s had his loyalty royally tested, unfortunately Arsenal seem to be playing games with him (this saddens me as I’m a Gooner and I really rate Jebb). If he’s smart – he should leave to get a first team slot at another club if he wants to push on with his career, even if it means Arsenal losing yet another bright English future prospect.

  4. well if he is outstanding as other british players he will push on. If he is only good then meh. He has to be on the level of Gnabry and Jack at aged 19 to really have a chance.

    If not he’s better off leaving. Like Landbury, Yennaris etc. it will only be good for the PL to have arsenal products in different teams. They will be among the top young kids on the market. Any club getting them will be lucky.

    One thing is clear though. If this JEBB kid will not be among the reasons we can challenge for gold by the time he’s , he’s out. We do not need him. Because he will not be good enough.
    Lansbury was never good enough but he’s still a good player. Maybe same with Jebb? British players need to be of the Jack, Kieran, Aaron, OX level to get a chance at Arsenal. Is he? If not then sorry mate. Go somewhere els…

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