Arsenal may not have won any silverware at youth level this season, but there remains a strong possibility that some of the club’s youngsters could end the season with a trophy, after an England side containing Chris Willock and Stephy Mavididi progressed to the Quarter-Finals of the U17 European Championships.
Both players started England’s first two group stage matches, with Willock being named man of the match following a virtuoso display in the 1-1 draw with the Netherlands. The Arsenal duo started today’s final group stage game against the Republic of Ireland on the bench, but were introduced in the second-half.
Willock again had a profound impact on proceedings, with the youngster setting up the only goal of the game, a stunning strike from Tottenham Hotspur talent Marcus Edwards.
There was another Arsenal player on show in Bulgaria, with schoolboy Marcus Tabi completing another full game for Ireland. His nation may have crashed out of the tournament prematurely having taken just one point from their three fixtures so far, but Tabi, who has already established himself as a key member of Arsenal’s U18 squad, will surely have gained some valuable experience from the competition to take into his first year as a full-time scholar.
For Willock and Mavididi the trophy is in sight as England look to win this tournament for the second year in succession. Last season Tafari Moore was involved as the Three Lions reigned supreme, but this time England will first have to navigate their way past Russia in the Quarter-Finals this weekend. Willock and Mavididi will be hoping to be restored to the starting line-up for that fixture.