The re-formatted competition will enable the club’s youngsters to test themselves against senior players from League One and League Two, with teams initially taking part in group fixtures before the knockout rounds begin.
The group stages of the competition will be regionalised, and invited clubs, such as Arsenal, must field at least six U21 players in each game.
The competition commences next month, culminating in the final at Wembley in April.
This is a fantastic opportunity for Arsenal’s starlets to experience the demands of first-team football , which is sure to benefit them in the future.
Several other major academies will be participating, including Manchester United and Chelsea.