A look at Arsenal’s U21 and U18 squads for next season


Following the departures of eight youngsters in the past few days, we now have a much clearer indication of what Arsenal’s development squads may look like for next season.

U21s:

Benik Afobe, Chuba Akpom, Hector Bellerin, Thomas Eisfeld, Deyan Iliev, Jack Jebb, Austin Lipman, Damian Martinez, Matt Macey, Semi Ajayi, Kristoffer Olsson, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill, Jon Toral, Gedion Zelalem, Ryan Huddart, Alex Iwobi, Julio Pleguezuelo, Ignasi Miquel, Samuel Galindo, Wellington, Glen Kamara, Josh Vickers, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Tafari Moore, Stefan O’Connor, Elliot Wright, Renny Smith, Dan Crowley, Isaac Hayden.

Of those, Afobe and Miquel appear to be at the point in their careers where they should either be competing for a place in the first-team squad or allowed to continue their development elsewhere. Pre-season should be key in both cases, whilst Akpom, Eisfeld, Olsson and Toral may well go out on loan at some point in the campaign. Bellerin and Martinez, meanwhile, will be hopeful of promotion to the senior squad. Galindo will run down the final year of his contract at the club, with a decision yet to be made on the future of Wellington.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images AsiaPac

Chris McGrath/Getty Images AsiaPac

As the campaign progresses, many of the second-year scholars, most of whom already have considerable experience of playing at this level, will become increasingly important members of the U21 squad. It remains possible that Andries Jonker, the club’s incoming Head of Youth Development, will seek to bring in some players from his native Netherlands.

MARTINEZ

Macey

Iliev

Vickers

Huddart

BELLERIN- AJAYI- MIQUEL- ORMONDE OTTEWILL

T. Moore-Pleguezuelo-O’Connor-Wright

HAYDEN-ZELALEM

Kamara-Jebb

Smith

EISFELD-TORAL-WELLINGTON

Maitland Niles-Olsson-Iwobi

    Crowley

   Galindo

AFOBE

Akpom

Lipman

U18s:

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Tafari Moore, Stefan O’Connor, Elliot Wright, Renny Smith, Dan Crowley, Ryan Huddart, Julio Pleguezuelo, Gedion Zelalem, Chris Willock, Kaylen Hinds, George Dobson, Aaron Eyoma, Aaron Jordan, Chiori Johnson, Harry Donovan, Jonatas Centeno, Joshua Da Silva, Kristopher Da Graca, Marc Bola, Marcus Tabi, Mich’el Parker, Owen Moore, Stephy Mavididi, Tolaji Bola, Tyrell Robinson.

As with most seasons, the U18 squad, coached by Frans de Kat and Kwame Ampadu, will consist mostly of first-year scholars, most of whom featured prominently at this level last season. There will be several further schoolboys waiting in the wings, hoping to make their debuts at some point, including the promising Charlie Gilmour. A back-up goalkeeper to Huddart remains a priority signing.

HUDDART

T. MOORE-PLEGUEZUELO-O’CONNOR-WRIGHT

Johnson-Da Graca-M. Bola-T. Bola

SMITH-ZELALEM

Dobson-Donovan

MAITLAND NILES-CROWLEY-WILLOCK

Centeno-Da Silva-Robinson

Eyoma-Parker-Tabi

Jordan-O. Moore

MAVIDIDI

Hinds

23 comments

  1. Still not enough UK players in either squad…If you compare us with Southampton who continue to produce great UK players only to be sold, we have a shocking record.

    1. How can you say that. Almost the entirety of the u18 squad is from UK and the u21 have a lot of english players.
      Also, I dont think whether a player is from UK or not should matter to a club

    2. pete take a look again at both squads listed, both are full of English players, Vast majority of u21 squad is english and nearly all the U18 squad are english,

    3. Gunnerpete

      Is your problem an England football team one or personal. Just because a player doesn’t have an English name doesn’t mean he is not english and likewise if he has an English name doesn’t mean he can’t play for another country. Take Carl jenkinson for example he was playing for Finland when we signed him.

      If your concerns about the England football team fair enough I applaud that, but.you need to do a bit of research, cos we have plenty of English players at all levels.

      If however your problem is more personal, I think you take those problems to a different site, This site is a great insight into youth development at arsenal, development of players no matter what colour or creed. Any.player spending 3 years at arsenal academy prior to his 21st birthday becomes homegrown, that.is all I care about. If he can play for england great if he can’t it really does not matter

    4. I’m really getting frustrated at reading comments that have tacit racial undertones. I’ve tried to point it out a few times but every time I do I get a backlash. For instance, a few months ago someone asked the question if our academy had abandoned producing more “technical players” in favor of more “strong, powerful” players. In other words, “why are there so many blacks coming through our youth system!” The vast majority of our youth team is English but not Southampton English

      1. People have to remember where we are based. We are north London of course our local lads are going to be more multicultural, just go back to the 60s and 70s when north Londons main ethnic minoritywas irish. Arsenals academy.produced more.Irish internationals than they did english. I remember one international week, when nIreland were playing eire there was 6 arsenal players on the pitch, yet England were playing the same night not 1 arsenal.player in the squad.

      2. “…I’m really getting frustrated at reading comments that have tacit racial undertones. I’ve tried to point it out a few times but every time I do I get a backlash. For instance, a few months ago someone asked the question if our academy had abandoned producing more “technical players” in favor of more “strong, powerful” players. In other words, “why are there so many blacks coming through our youth system!”…”

        While I agree with you about the racial undertones and innuendo, I dont think this particular example is necessarily a valid one. My impression, is this is more about the fact that we seem to be keen on highly skilled but fairly short players, many of whom are weak. And that goes for both the youth team and the players purchased into first team. It’s a long way from the days where “technical” players like Henry, Gilberto, Bergkamp, Edu and Pires, were actually all at least six foot and powerful enough that their technique could not be nullified by simply leaning into them. Gilberto was six foot three, yet had every bit of technique as Arteta does and Henry was nearly the same height as Giroud – these were some big fellas….

    1. Na I don’t think he talking about gingers!!! Lol

      Its ok ginger is in my family and I adore ginger biscuits so I am not gingerist.

  2. I watched Tafari Moore for U21s against Chelsea and he was playing at right back and wasn’t very good. He looked a lot more effective at left back for England! We need to include an English youngster on the bench each season, to give them experience, it’s not much to ask! 1 sub! Would love to see Akpom be promoted next season or go out on loan to a Prem club

    1. Moore never played against Chelsea’s u21s. You probably mean the youth cup semi’s against Chelsea, and even then him playing at right back along with vickers were our best players

  3. JB – aren’t miquel, martinez and galindo too old for u21s now? I know we can use an over age player, but.I would have thought it’s first team squad or out.

    1. For Miquel that’s most likely the case. Galindo probably won’t play for Arsenal again. Martinez, if he stays, might still play some games for the U21s to keep up his match sharpness even if he is promoted to the first-team squad.

      On Sun, May 25, 2014 at 12:57 PM, Jeorge Bird's Arsenal Youth wrote:

      >

  4. JB – we have only one keeper for the u18s next season, surely a must sign one? What about the trialist Marcus beauchamp?

  5. When does Jonker start work? Hope you’ll keep us updated on how he’s settling into the job and what changes he’ll be making to turn things around. Can’t start soon enough, imo, as relegation from the elite league, meaning a season playing with the likes of Blackburn and Stoke, is nothing short of a disaster. An interview with him would be interesting.

  6. Iliev is reported leaving AFC and joining the Belgium club Mechelen that will offer him quicker first team opportunities. Any truth in the report?

  7. England players are not good enough ,we need mix in youths system , south american youth prospects need but I hate the Fifa rules , if England don’t have rules ,sure arsenal.signed messi at 2003/04 …..need mix , in EuropeEurope like Holland , Germany , southamericans , Africans …need mix , always we can’t see England players are much better then southamericans , Holland , players ……only one player in youth is OK wilshere what about other players ?????? Same u need mix

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