A hugely eventful campaign for Arsenal’s youngsters reached a fittingly dramatic conclusion last night as the club’s U21 side secured their place in the top tier of second-string football with a victory over Aston Villa.
Here’s a look at some of Arsenal’s best performers across the various age groups this campaign.
BREAKTHROUGH STAR- ALEX IWOBIAfter an impressive pre-season Iwobi remained on the cusp of the first-team squad before eventually breaking into the starting line-up. He is still a prominent part of Arsene Wenger’s plans and will seek to be heavily involved again next season.
BEST LOANEE- JON TORALToral built upon an impressive spell with Brentford and enjoyed an excellent campaign for Birmingham City as he scored eight goals in 38 appearances. The Spaniard will return to Arsenal for pre-season and will hope to finally be afforded a chance to prove himself in the first-team.
BEST U21 PLAYER- CHRIS WILLOCKAlthough Stephy Mavididi topped Arsenal’s scoring charts at this level, it was Willock who was the most consistent performer as the winger impressed with his trickery and ability to beat players. Willock became increasingly influential as the campaign progressed and was excellent in both the play-off semi-final and final.
BEST U18 PLAYER- EDWARD NKETIAH
Once again Arsenal endured some frustrating results at U18 level, but matters could have been much worse were it not for the actions of Nketiah, who finished as the top goalscorer in the U18 Premier League with 24 goals, which saw him included in the U21 squad towards the end of the campaign.
BEST SCHOOLBOY- REISS NELSONIt was already clear prior to this season that Nelson is a stellar talent, but he provided some glimpses of his potential as he broke into the U21 squad, impressed in the UEFA Youth League and trained with the first-team. There is much more to come from this very exciting prospect.