Robbie Burton seizing his chance for Arsenal in pre-season

In the same summer that a Welsh midfielder who was born on Boxing Day left the club, another player who fits that description has been taking his first steps towards establishing himself as part of the senior setup at Arsenal.

Robbie Burton knows that he still has much work to do in order to succeed with the Gunners, and there is no expectation that the 19-year-old will, in the immediate future at least, fill the void left by Aaron Ramsey.

However, Burton has enjoyed an excellent pre-season so far, which has encompassed him captaining the U23 side in their 3-3 draw against Boreham Wood before featuring for the first-team against Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich.

Burton caught the eye in the latter two fixtures with his composure in possession and seemed at ease when surrounded with senior team-mates.

Like James Olayinka, he hasn’t always stood out at U23 level – last season he scored just two goals and provided only two assists for the second-string in 12 appearances. He did, though, have some impressive performances as he helped the U18s reach the final of the FA Youth Cup two seasons ago.

Freddie Ljungberg, his former U23 coach, is certainly an admirer of Burton’s qualities, and it was the Swede who persuaded Unai Emery to include the Wales youth international in the travelling squad for the pre-season tour of the United States.

Burton certainly fits academy manager Per Mertesacker’s ‘Strong Young Gunners’ mantra, with the Hale End product always extremely committed and professional in his approach.

The youngster will hope for further first-team opportunities during pre-season and in the cup competitions once the competitive action gets underway.



  1. You would imagine that there is still lots of loans to be done. I cannot see that the first team squad is decided so in turn it probably isn’t decided who stays in the u23s or goes on loan isn’t either. I just hope we can get the majority of the decisions right this time. Far too much talent is leaving, while overpaid contracts are handed out to overseas players, who are either not suitable for the premier league, or too old, past their best or not bloomin good enough in the first place

  2. Sorry to be blunt, but I don’t consider Steve Bould to be a good coach at all.
    In his defense, the U23 team he has inherited from Ljungberg has minimal chance to shine in the Premier League 2, as only 2 players have remained in his squad over 20 (assuming Bielik will leave either on loan or permanently): Bola and Nwakali.
    And even though the team is full of talents (Okonkwo, Medley, Thompson, Olayinka, Saka, Amaechi, John-Jules and many more) I don’t expect them to be competitive with players that are 4 years older.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s