Jack Jebb hasn’t played a single minute of football so far this season, so it wasn’t very surprising when it was announced today that the midfielder has joined League Two side Stevenage on a one-month loan deal.
Jebb, who is capable of playing excellent passes as well as being a renowned free-kick taker, has found himself in a rather precarious position in the early weeks of the season- he is no longer eligible for the U18 or UEFA Youth League sides, yet, with players such as Gedion Zelalem and Dan Crowley ahead of him, he has struggled to break into the club’s U21 set-up.
The move to Stevenage will hopefully provide him with some experience of first-team football, although the youngster may be frustrated at the fact that he has had to go elsewhere to get playing time. Prior to this season he had made just six appearances for the U21s, despite regularly for the club at U18 level.
Jebb is the latest Arsenal player to make the transition from Arsenal to Stevenage, with Luke Freeman and Anthony Jeffrey having both enhanced their development at Broadhall Way. Another one-time Arsenal scholar, Roarie Deacon, is still on Stevenage’s books.
Meanwhile, Arsenal U21s are preparing to face Blackburn Rovers at Meadow Park tomorrow evening. Arsene Wenger confirmed today that Theo Walcott will play some part in the fixture as he steps up his return from injury, but Serge Gnabry is still a little way off the England winger in the recovery process and may not be involved against Blackburn.
Julio Pleguezuelo is unlikely to have recovered from injury in time to feature. Coach Steve Gatting is likely to field a far stronger side than the one that lost to Newcastle United last time out, with the likes of Isaac Hayden, Semi Ajayi and Chuba Akpom set to return to the fore.
The U18s play Tottenham tomorrow morning, with coach Frans de Kat hoping that Tyrell Robinson and Ben Sheaf will be available again. Ilias Chatzitheodoridis is expected to make his debut at that level.