Arsenal to face Rotherham in FA Youth Cup – selection headache for Gillard

Arsenal U18s will face Rotherham United in the third round of the FA Youth Cup after the draw was made on Friday.

Coach Ken Gillard is set to face a major selection headache when it comes to choosing his team for this competition, with Arsenal having an array of options available in various positions.

To be eligible for this year’s competitions players must have been born between September 1st 2002 and before September 1st 2005.

Goalkeeper

Hubert Graczyk has been the first-choice for the U18s this season and is likely to be called upon, with Ovie Ejeheri providing backup. Remy Mitchell is third choice.

*Other options: Alex Kovacevic, Jamie Telfer and Alexei Rojas

Defence

If he recovers from injury in time, Daniel Oyegoke could start at right-back, although Brooke Norton-Cuffy will also be eager to feature.

There are a host of options at centre-back, with Levi Laing, Zach Awe, Alex Kirk, Zane Monlouis, Taylor Foran, Henry Jeffcott and Mazeed Ogungbo all competing for a place in the side, while Jason Sraha is still injured.

Awe and Kirk could be the first choice partnership, but there are many different options available to Gillard.

At left-back, the likes of Ogungbo, Monlouis and Norton-Cuffy are capable of filling in, but Omari Hutchinson could be deployed there, despite often being used further forwards.

*Other options: Tino Quamina, Cameron Brayne and Elian Quesada

Midfield

There are plenty of options available in midfield, especially if Miguel Azeez is allowed to drop down from the U23s.

Azeez could partner Charlie Patino at the base of the midfield, which would mean that Mauro Bandeira would have to be content with a place on the bench.

Catalin Cirjan is part of the U23 squad but could also be permitted to feature in this competition.

The likes of Jack Henry-Francis, James Sweet and Luigi Gaspar will be competing to make the bench.

*Other options: Jimi Gower, Bayo Fapetu, Bradley Ibrahim, Michal Rosiak and Sydie Peck

Attack

A potential front three of Salah-Eddine (if fit), Khayon Edwards and Marcelo Flores could cause many problems for opponents.

That, though, would mean leaving a player as talented as Kido Taylor-Hart on the bench, while Luke Plange will feel that he is worth of a starting berth up front.

Nathan Butler-Oyedeji also has to be considered as an option out wide, with striker Billy Vigar hoping for involvement in this competition as well. Charles Sagoe Junior may have to wait until next season for his opportunity.

Joel Ideho, who recently joined the club, could be a useful option on the bench.

*Other options: Kieran Petrie, Shaun Mavididi and Omari Benjamin

Possible team:

Graczyk

Oyegoke-Awe-Kirk-Hutchinson

Azeez-Patino

Salah Eddine-Cirjan-Flores

Edwards

Subs: Ejeheri, Monlouis, Ogungbo, Bandeira, Taylor-Hart, Ideho, Plange

Other options: Butler-Oyedeji, Laing, Sraha, Henry-Francis, Foran, Gaspar, Jeffcott, Mitchell, Norton-Cuffy, Sagoe Junior, Sweet, Vigar, Kovacevic, Rojas, Telfer, Quamina, Brayne, Quesada, Gower, Fapetu, Ibrahim, Rosiak, Peck, Petrie, Mavididi, Benjamin.

4 comments

  1. Quick question JB are players signed as professionals allowed to play in the fa youth cup? I’ll be honest I haven’t read the eligibility criteria, but seem to recall a club getting thrown out one year after fielding a player under that rule. I could be totally wrong though.

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