Arsenal youngster Sam Greenwood has completed his permanent switch to Leeds United.
As previously documented, losing Greenwood, one of the most talented prospects in the academy, is a major blow to Arsenal.
Although he has lacked consistency at times, Greenwood’s understanding of the game coupled with his excellent technique mean that he could have a bright future and he will be looking to push on further at Leeds.
As far as Arsenal are concerned, the focus with regards to academy strikers is likely to switch to Tyreece John-Jules.
Folarin Balogun is still at the club but his omission from the squad for the friendly against MK Dons demonstrated that he isn’t in the club’s plans at present.
Balogun has yet to commit to a new contract amid concerns over first-team chances and Arsenal have responded by, in effect, freezing him out.
It remains to be seen whether Balogun will be selected for U23 games if he is to remain at the club, but it seems clear that, as things stand at least, he won’t be considered for first-team involvement, even in training sessions.
Quite how the situation will be resolved is unclear, especially with Arsenal’s reported asking price of £8 million for a player who has never played a senior game likely to deter potential suitors.
With Greenwood gone and Balogun perhaps to follow, John-Jules is seen as the striker that the academy are focused on at present.
Having returned from his loan spell at Lincoln, John-Jules was involved against MK Dons and he is certainly in the mould of a player that Mikel Arteta likes given his impressive technique and work rate.
While John-Jules may not possess quite as much potential as Balogun and Greenwood, it seems clear that the club have much faith in him and they will have to manage him carefully.
There have been suggestions that the 19-year-old could head out on loan again and that may well transpire, but, given Arsenal’s packed fixture list and with Gabriel Martinelli out injured, perhaps it would benefit John-Jules to remain at Arsenal for the first half of the season at least.
That way he could be coached on a regular basis by Arteta, make his competitive debut and be ready to step up if others are injured.
Greenwood leaving also means that there could be opportunities for the likes of Luke Plange and Khayon Edwards in the U23s.
With regards to John-Jules, first-team football is now the priority, and now the focus is very much on him.