Author: Jeorge Bird

Which Arsenal youngsters could leave this summer?


The end of the season is approaching and, inevitably, this will prove to be the final campaign at the club for some young prospects.

Winger Nathan Tella has already sealed a move to Southampton, but which other young players could leave Arsenal this summer?

Glen Kamara has endured a hugely frustrating season, with the defensive-midfielder having been unable to fully impose himself on loan at Colchester United in the first half of the campaign, while since January he has been training with Arsenal’s U23 side but hasn’t made an appearance. The Finland youth international, who has played one senior game for Arsenal, seems certain to be let go.

Kristopher Da Graca is another player who is surplus to requirements and the tall centre-back has been on trial at Genoa recently. With Ben Sheaf and Joseph Olowu now ahead of him in the pecking order at Arsenal, Da Graca has no future at the club.

Having shown some glimpses of his ability for the U18s last season, it was anticipated that Savvas Mourgos would step up to the U23s on a more regular basis this campaign. That hasn’t quite transpired, however, with the midfielder having, rather strangely, been restricted to just four appearances at that level, and he may well move on.

Like Tella, defender Kostas Pileas sees his scholarship deal expire at the end of June. The club have yet to hold discussions with the 18-year-old regarding whether he will get a professional contract.

Centre-back Stefan O’Connor has barely featured on loan at Dutch club MVV Maastricht and could depart permanently along with Aaron Eyoma, who has yet to play on loan at Volendam.

On a slightly different note, Chris Willock’s contract expires this summer, with the winger, who has made two competitive appearances for the first-team, yet to commit to a new deal. Meanwhile, his brother Joe has yet to sign the professional contract that was offered to him when he signed scholarship terms.

It seems, then, that there will, in all likelihood, be several exits from the academy, and it should also be taken into consideration that some high-profile players, such as Jon Toral, could leave depending on whether or not they are promised first-team opportunities.


Arsenal winger Nathan Tella joins Southampton in permanent deal


Arsenal winger Nathan Tella has signed for Southampton on a permanent deal following a successful trial.

The 17-year-old progressed through the ranks at Arsenal’s Hale End academy before signing scholarship terms but was informed earlier this year that he wouldn’t be offered a professional contract.

A direct and skilful player, Tella featured prominently for Arsenal at U18 level, although he also endured misfortune with injury.

via Andy’sArsenalU18s


Arsenal’s Kristopher Da Graca on trial at Genoa

Image: 90 minutes online

Arsenal defender Kristopher Da Graca is on trial at Serie A side Genoa as he closes in on a permanent departure from the club. 

Da Graca started the season as a key part of the Arsenal U23 side but the tall centre-back fell out of favour following several disappointing performances. 

The 19-year-old, who joined Arsenal as a schoolboy in 2013, has been playing for Genoa at youth level recently and scored in the 4-0 victory over Parma yesterday in the Viareggio Cup. 

A tall and physically imposing player, Da Graca is rather error prone and hasn’t played for Arsenal U23s since November, with Ben Sheaf (who has been converted from midfield) and first-year Joseph Olowu now ahead of him. 

It is widely anticipated that Da Graca will be released when his Arsenal contract expires at the end of June. 

Loan report- Toral assists for Rangers; Bielik impresses again for Birmingham

Jon Toral played the whole game and set up a goal for Clint Hill in Rangers’ 4-0 thrashing of Hamilton Academical.

Krystian Bielik played the full 90 minutes and impressed as part of a back three as Birmingham City drew 0-0 with Newcastle United.

Wojciech Szczesny played the whole game as Roma beat Sassuolo 3-1.

Dan Crowley played the full match as Go Ahead Eagles lost 3-1 to PEC Zwolle.

Kelechi Nwakali played 90 minutes in MVV Maastricht’s 1-1 draw with Telstar. Stefan O’Connor was an un-used substitute.

Marc Bola played the whole game and was booked late on as Notts County beat Barnet 1-0.

Matt Macey played the entirety of Luton Town’s 1-1 draw with Exeter City.

Takuma Asano was introduced in the 71st minute of Stuttgart’s 1-0 loss to Greuther Furth.

Chuba Akpom was brought on in the 74th minute as Brighton & Hove Albion lost 2-0 to Leeds United.

Jack Wilshere came on in the 75th minute as Bournemouth beat Swansea City 2-0.

Ismael Bennacer played 72 minutes as Tours ran out 4-0 victors against Valenciennes.

Gedion Zelalem came on in the 72nd minute as VVV-Venlo lost 5-2 to Dordrecht.

Kaylen Hinds was brought on in the 67th minute of Stevenage’s 3-0 win over Portsmouth.

Tafari Moore played the whole game as Utrecht II beat Eindhoven 3-1.

Calum Chambers missed out through injury as Middlesbrough lost 3-1 to Manchester United.

Joel Campbell wasn’t involved as Sporting Lisbon beat Nacional 2-0.

Julio Plegueuzelo wasn’t in the Mallorca squad for the 2-1 loss against Huesca.

Aaron Eyoma wasn’t involved as Volendam drew 1-1 with Cambuur.




Eddie Nketiah one of four Arsenal starlets in England U18s squad


Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has been rewarded for his fantastic form by receiving his first England call-up.

The prospect has been named in the England U18 squad for the upcoming games against Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where he is joined by his Arsenal team-mates Marcus McGuane, Tolaji Bola and Reiss Nelson.

Having previously scored with regularity for Arsenal U18s, Nketiah has stepped up to the U23s, finding the net five times in eleven appearances at that level.


Nelson and Smith-Rowe underline their status as two of Arsenal’s best prospects


They were widely seen as being the two standout members of Arsenal’s scholarship intake last summer and Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe have certainly lived up to expectations so far, especially when their recent performances are taken into consideration.

Despite being just 17, Nelson has established himself as an integral part of Arsenal’s U23 side and has made a stellar impact this campaign, whether deployed on the right wing, the left wing, as an attacking midfielder or slightly deeper.

Nelson was excellent in the U23s’ 3-3 draw with Manchester City on Monday night and has now scored in each of his last three games at that level as he performs with increased confidence.

Long since seen as an outstanding talent, the step up to the first-team is surely the next phase in Nelson’s development and he could well be involved with the senior squad in pre-season.

An excellent passer and dribbler, Nelson has it all in attacking sense and will be aiming to hit even greater heights next season.

2017-03-15 13_01_56-e1840d42-e412-47a2-ae74-cf0836b1e171.jpg (400×400) - Opera

Smith-Rowe, meanwhile, is making great strides at U18 level, with the winger, who like Nelson is an England youth international, having cemented his place as a major part of Kwame Ampadu’s team.

Usually a left winger but now being deployed more frequently on the right, Smith-Rowe possesses superb close control, while he is capable of linking play effectively and is also a threat in front of goal himself, as demonstrated by the fact that he has scored six times in 13 appearances for the U18s this campaign.

Having already featured for the U23s earlier in the season, the 16-year-old will hope to become increasingly involved at that level in 2017/18.

Both Nelson and Smith-Rowe have developed apace this season, with the pair definitely among Arsenal’s brightest prospects for the future.

Report – Nelson superb as Jenkinson hits late equaliser in Arsenal U23s’ draw with Manchester City

Premier League 2 

Arsenal 3 (Malen, Nelson, Jenkinson) Manchester City 3 (Ambrose (2), Nmecha (pen))

By Jeorge Bird @Emirates Stadium


Carl Jenkinson struck a dramatic late equaliser and Reiss Nelson enhanced his burgeoning reputation further still as Arsenal U23s drew 3-3 with Manchester City tonight in an enthralling encounter at Emirates Stadium.

An Arsenal side containing a smattering of senior players initially struggled to cope with a City team that, in true Pep Guardiola style, kept the ball extremely efficiently.

The visitors took the lead through Thierry Ambrose and then doubled their tally via the same source but Arsenal, crucially, managed to claw their way back into the game just before the break when Donyell Malen found the net.

Arsenal improved after the break with Nelson, who was hugely impressive throughout, making it 2-2, and, although a penalty from Lukas Nmecha temporarily put City back in front, Jenkinson was on hand to seal a point for Arsenal, with Nelson heavily involved in proceedings once again.

Coach Steve Gatting made four alterations from the win against Tottenham Hotspur, with Rob Holding, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Ainsley Maitland-Niles all coming into the side. Ryan Huddart, meanwhile, started in goal for the first time since returning from his loan spell at Eastleigh.



Reine Adelaide-Maitland Niles

Malen-Nelson-C. Willock


Subs: Nketiah (for Malen, 76), McGuane (for Sanogo, 86). Not used: Keto, Johnson, Dasilva.

City were dominant in the early exchanges and had an effort ruled out for offside.

At the other end Sanogo, who scored against Tottenham, was unable to control the ball when well placed, with his subsequent effort being closed down by the City defence.

Chris Willock then had a shot saved, with Sanogo then seeing his header held following an impressive cross from Cohen Bramall, but all the while it seemed that City were most likely to open the scoring.

They did just that in the 16th minute, with a slick passing move eventually seeing the ball worked to Ambrose, who calmly slotted past Huddart.

Arsenal sought to respond immediately, with Nelson having an effort kept out, but Huddart then had to be alert down the other end to prevent City from doubling their advantage.

Soon, though, City were 2-0 in front and Ambrose was the goalscorer again as he controlled a searching pass and finished extremely well.

Arsenal found themselves in a difficult situation, fully aware that the game was slipping away from them and knowing that, in all likelihood, a goal before half-time was a necessity if they were to take something from this fixture.

City continued to probe patiently, starving Arsenal off possession in a manner that hasn’t often been seen at this level.

To their credit, though, Arsenal simply refused to give in, and they created a flurry of chances in quick succession, with Nelson, Maitland-Niles and Sanogo all attempting to find the net.

None of the trio were successful, but, in the 42nd minute, Malen was. Reine-Adelaide did well to work some space after dribbling inside from the left flank and found Nelson, who subsequently laid the ball off to Malen, with the Dutchman’s attempt getting the better of City goalkeeper Arijanet Muric.

That goal gave the young Gunners an injection of confidence going into the second half and they started extremely brightly after the interval, with Reine-Adelaide embarking upon an excellent run that ended with him passing to Malen, whose effort was deflected over.

Maitland-Niles then tracked back well to cut out the danger as City threatened, but the majority of the action was taking place at the other end of the pitch and Arsenal pulled level through Nelson’s strike, which was well placed.

Arsenal didn’t stop there – Maitland-Niles had an attempt saved and Malen almost played in Sanogo as Gatting’s team sought to go in front.

City couldn’t be discounted, however, and, after squandering an inviting opportunity to regain the lead, the visitors were given a penalty following a clumsy challenge from Bramall, who had been rather impressive up until that point.

Substitute Lukas Nmecha converted the spot-kick and Arsenal knew that time was running out for them to get back level.

Arsenal poured forwards, and changes were made as Eddie Nketiah and Marcus McGuane entered the fray.

Nketiah would go on to play a crucial part in proceedings as, following a weaving run from Nelson, it was his pass that teed up Jenkinson, who, improbably, made it 3-3 with almost the last kick of the game.

Arsenal are in fourth place in the table, ten points adrift of City, but there was so much to take from this game, not least the performance of Nelson, who was the hub of everything that was good about his side going forwards.

Reine-Adelaide also impressed in the second half,  while Maitland-Niles and Willock also made positive contributions.

Arsenal were vulnerable defensively at times, but there were probably more positives than negatives from this game, with Nelson’s performance ultimately the most pertinent plus point.