What next for Nketiah, Sheaf and Macey after new Arsenal deals? Plus two starlets who still need to be tied down

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Three of Arsenal’s most high-profile youngsters signed new contracts with the club today, with Eddie Nketiah, Ben Sheaf and Matt Macey all securing their short-term futures with the Gunners.

The trio have all been involved in Arsenal’s Europa League campaign, while Nketiah notably hit a brace against Norwich City in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

Nketiah will hope to receive further first-team game time before the end of the season, including in the latter stages of the Carabao Cup and also in the FA Cup.

The striker has scored with regularity at youth level in recent seasons and is now being rewarded by being given opportunities with the first-team, with the hope being that he could potentially challenge for a place in the senior squad next season.

Sheaf, meanwhile, has been hugely impressive since undergoing the transformation from defensive midfielder to centre-back.

The former West Ham United youngster is extremely composed in possession and made his senior debut for Arsenal against Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League this season.

Sheaf is at the stage of his development where youngsters are usually sent out on temporary transfer to other clubs, but Arsenal haven’t made best use of the loan system of late, with many players unable to get regular game time.

If Sheaf does go on loan then it needs to be with a club who play in a similar style to Arsenal and who can offer him the chance to gain the valuable experience of senior football that he needs.

It appears that Sheaf may still have to be patient to make a full breakthrough into the first-team squad with the likes of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers ahead of him but he is certainly developing very well.

Macey, meanwhile, has made some significant strides over the past couple of seasons and has impressed in his two competitive appearances for the first-team so far.

Tall and possessing excellent reflexes, the 23-year-old is already effectively Arsenal’s third-choice goalkeeper even though he isn’t officially part of the first-team squad.

Macey will hope that he can become second choice to Petr Cech next season if David Ospina departs and Emiliano Martinez also leaves, but a year out on loan, perhaps at a League One club, may be of greater benefit to him.

Although they have tied three talented youngsters down to new deals, there is still some work for Arsenal to do on the contracts front with regards to young players.

Reiss Nelson, Arsenal’s standout youth prospect, is out of contract in June 2019 and it is expected that he will sign a new deal soon.

Meanwhile, midfielder Marcus McGuane sees his contract expire at the end of the season and has previously been linked with Manchester United and Juventus, who are said to be monitoring his situation.

2 comments

  1. Marcus McGuane is a worry, that saga has dragged on too long for us to feel confident about him staying at Arsenal.

    Not sure why it has come to this, with Chris Willock departing last summer we don’t want this to become a habit. The odd thing is that Arsenal probably encourage youngsters and give them an opportunity more than most of our rivals, so why would he want to leave, unless it’s financial?

    The nightmare scenario would be seeing him in a Manc shirt next season.

  2. I think next year instead of sending so many players out on loan we should consider entering the EFL trophy and every possible youth tournament available to us.

    Depending on what happens with wengers future and champions league qualification we really need to look at the development of our youngsters.

    I agree with what wenger has done so far this season, basically having 2 teams an EPL team and a EL/carabao cup team. Unfortunately our EPL team is simply not strong enough and this needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

    I just think it would have been better to have allowed the u21s to enter the EFL trophy, rather than be sitting on various benches across Europe. I would be interested to see how many matched our loanees have actually started? I would hazard a guess that the player who has started most matches and played most minutes is Asano or Nwakali, neither of whom were eligible to.play in the UK anyway, so they could have remained on loan. Obviously there was not enough room in the squad for Jenkinson, Martinez, Campbell and Lucas either, so they too would have had to go on loan or perhaps one could have stayed whilst iliev or macey went out on loan instead.

    As for the topic I honestly think our u21 team has some fantastic talent and would have gone far in the EFL trophy., mcguane and Nelson need to get signed up asap.

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