Arsenal U17s won the Future Cup in dramatic fashion yesterday, with the young Gunners fending off competition from Anderlecht and Barcelona to prevail at the tournament in Holland.
Kwame Ampadu’s squad contained a mixture of U18, U16 and U15 players and here’s what to expect from each of them next season.
Edward Nketiah- The forward has been prolific at U18 level this season, scoring 16 goals, and he will hope to step up to U21 football at some point next season.
Nathan Tella- A hard-working right-winger, Tella has been involved with the U18s this season and will seek to establish himself as a regular next season as he looks to earn a professional deal.
Joe Willock- The attacking midfielder has impressed for the U18s of late and will be looking to prove that he deserves a professional deal.
Vlad Dragomir- The Romania youth international has struggled with injuries at times this season but when fit the attacking midfielder is capable of unlocking defences with his precise passes. The prospect will hope to feature in the UEFA Youth League this season.
Joao Virginia- The hero in the Future Cup with some terrific penalty saves, Virginia has already featured for the U18s and should be the club’s first-choice goalkeeper at that level next season.
Josh Benson- A midfielder with a good passing range, Benson already has some experience of U18 football and will look to become increasingly involved at that level next season.
Toby Omole- A centre-back who is a graduate of Arsenal’s Hale End academy, Omole has struggled on the few occasions he’s played for the U18s so far but he fared rather better in the Future Cup and could have an important part to play for Frans De Kat’s team next season.
Nathan Tormey- A highly regarded winger, Tormey was drafted into the U18 squad this season and hasn’t looked out of place at that level. The prospect will expect to feature prominently for De Kat’s side in his first season as a scholar.
Robbie Burton- Arsenal made a late decision to offer Burton a scholarship deal and the Welsh youth international will hope to prove that the choice was a well-advised one. The midfielder has already played for the U18s and should establish himself further at that level next season.
Joseph Olowu- The centre-back has been a mainstay for the U16s this season and has been offered a scholarship deal for next campaign, with the youngster hoping to show that he can deal with the step up to U18 football.
Emile Smith-Rowe- The winger was impressive at the tournament in Holland and turned down Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur to agree a scholarship deal with Arsenal. The England youth international will feature for Arsenal U18s next season and could even break into the U21 side before the conclusion of the campaign.
Dominic Thompson- The left-back performed well in the Future Cup and has been offered a scholarship deal for next season. Thompson could establish himself as the club’s first-choice left-back at U18 level.
Jay Beckford- The attacker has also been offered scholarship terms and will hope to make his U18 debut before the end of this season prior to becoming more frequently involved at that level next campaign.
Xavier Amaechi- A player with much potential, Amaechi usually features as an attacking midfielder and, as he demonstrated against Ajax, is capable of finishing well. The youngster will be a regular for the U16s next season and may also make some appearances for the U18s.
Mark McGuinness- A tall centre-back, McGuinness fared well in the Future Cup and has been impressive for the U15s this season. The prospect will feature prominently for the U16s next campaign as he looks to earn a scholarship deal.
Olujimi Olayinka- A midfielder who is a good dribbler and passer, Olayinka is highly regarded by the club’s coaching staff and will be seeking to make a sizeable impact for the U16s next season.
Trae Coyle- An attacking midfielder, Coyle is the archetypal Hale End product- excellent technically, a neat passer and always on the lookout for the next pass. The youngster will be an U16 player next season but, such is his potential, could be involved with the U18s.
Daniel Barden- The young goalkeeper didn’t feature in the tournament in Holland as he was an un-used substitute throughout. However, he is well thought of by the club and will be the regular goalkeeper for the U16s next season whilst also providing back up at U18 level.