Whatever happened to #16… Aneke, Crowley, Chatzitheodoridis, Shea, Angha

CHUKS ANEKE

Signed scholarship: 2009. Arsenal apps: 1. Subsequent career: Zulte-Waregem, MK Dons, Chartlon Athletic.

A powerhouse midfielder when he was progressing through the youth ranks at Arsenal, Aneke was seen as a fine prospect but was restricted to just one competitive appearance for the first-team, which came against Shrewsbury Town in 2011.

After four loan spells away from the club, he was released in 2014 and headed to Belgium, where he joined Zulte Waregem. A switch to MK Dons followed and he impressed there, especially in the 2018/19 season, when he scored 17 goals in League Two.

Now a striker, Aneke made the switch to Charlton Athletic last summer and has scored one goal in eleven Championship games this season.

DAN CROWLEY

Signed scholarship: 2013. Arsenal apps: 0. Subsequent career: Willem II, Cambuur (loan), Birmingham City.

Signed amidst much hype and expectation from Aston Villa in 2013, Crowley produced some outstanding performances for the Gunners at youth level but found first-team action difficult to come by, with injuries not helping his cause.

After joining Willem II in 2017, he returned to England last year with Birmingham City and has featured prominently for the Championship side this campaign.

ILIAS CHATZITHEODORIDIS

Signed scholarship: 2014. Subsequent career: Brentford, Cheltenham Town (loan), Panathinaikos.

The Greek left-back often found it difficult to make an impact at Arsenal after arriving on a scholarship deal, and he wasn’t offered a professional contract by the club, which saw him released in 2016.

Since then, however, Chatzitheodoridis has done rather well for himself. He initially joined Brentford and was sent out on loan to Cheltenham Town, where he gained valuable experience of first-team football.

Thereafter he returned to Greece with Panathinaikos and he has been heavily involved, while he was also previously called up by his country at under-21 level.

JAMES SHEA

Signed scholarship: 2007. Subsequent career: Needham Market, Harrow Borough, AFC Wimbledon, Luton Town.

A goalkeeper who won the league and cup double with the U18s in 2008/09, Shea was on the bench for the first-team on several occasions but left without playing a game.

He subsequently dropped into non-league football but managed to work his way up the pyramid and is currently at Luton Town in the Championship.

This season Shea has made 13 appearances for Luton and has conceded 32 goals.

MARTIN ANGHA

Signed scholarship: 2010. Arsenal appearances: 2. Subsequent career: Nuremberg, 1860 Munich, St. Gallen, Sion, Fortuna Sittard.

The only member of the 2010 intake of scholars to have played a competitive game for Arsenal, Angha featured against Coventry City and Olympiacos during the 2012/13 season.

Angha left for Nuremberg in 2013 and then took in spells at 1860 Munich and St Gallen before heading to Sion.

The erstwhile Switzerland youth international is now playing in Holland for Fortuna Sittard, and has flitted between operating at right-back and centre-back.

2 comments

  1. Aneke is quality – when fit! There is no way he should have been playing at League 1 level based on ability, but if you are unable to keep fit you don’t have much hope. Sadly a tale many of our more talented youngsters have lived.

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