Author: Jeorge Bird

Report – Khayon Edwards scores and Lino Sousa excels as Arsenal U21s are held by Manchester United at Old Trafford

Premier League 2

Manchester United 1 (Mejia 24) Arsenal 1 (Edwards 20)

Arsenal U21s appear to be gradually emerging from their period of woeful form as they got a point away to their Manchester United counterparts in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford tonight.

Mehmet Ali’s side saw their winless run in all competitions extended to nine games and they still haven’t secured all three points in a Premier League 2 fixture since January. However, their last two displays have at least included some signs of encouragement and they took the lead when Khayon Edwards pounced on a mistake. United responded quickly through Mateo Mejia and Arsenal had some difficult moments, but they improved late on following the introduction of Amario Cozier-Duberry.

The result sees Arsenal move up to sixth place in the Premier League 2 table with five matches remaining.

Arsenal were without Reuell Walters, who is with the first-team, so James Sweet continued at right-back. Lino Sousa came into the side at left-back in place of Henry Jeffcott. There were some tactical alterations, with Ben Cottrell starting as an attacking midfielder, while Catalin Cirjan was deployed on the left flank and Charles Sagoe Jr was on the right.

The United team included 36-year-old Tom Huddlestone, who is a player-coach at the club.



M. Smith


Sagoe Jr-Edwards-Cirjan

Subs: Cozier-Duberry (for Cirjan, 67). Not used: Cooper, Jeffcott, Ibrahim, Benjamin.

Arsenal started with impressive intensity as Mauro Bandeira found Edwards, whose shot was saved.

Cottrell then did well to win the ball and find Sagoe Jr, with the winger seeing his effort pushed away for a corner.

United responded with a chance of their own as defender Jack Kingdon shot over and then at the other end Arsenal had a penalty claim turned down despite the ball striking Omari Forson on the hand.

Arsenal continued to carve out chances with much greater regularity than in recent weeks, with Cirjan and Bandeira both having efforts.

Eventually Arsenal took the lead as Edwards capitalised on hesitancy from United goalkeeper Elyh Harrison to get his first goal since returning from injury.

Sousa then embarked upon a brilliant run down the left flank before seeing his shot saved.

Arsenal’s lead didn’t last for long, however, with Mejia pulling United level with a neat finish.

Both teams had chances as the second half wore on as Bandeira and Sagoe Jr were denied for Arsenal and Ethan Williams shot wide for United, but the sides went into the break level.

Sagoe Jr struck the post in the second half following a precise through-ball from Smith and then Edwards had a header saved following a corner.

Hubert Graczyk was called into action to keep out Williams’ effort and then Huddlestone saw a free-kick gathered. The former Tottenham midfielder played some impressive passes in the first half but tired as the game wore on.

Arsenal then sent on Cozier-Duberry in place of Cirjan but, somewhat strangely, the winger was deployed on the left wing initially, with Sagoe Jr remaining on the right.

Sousa had a shot blocked and then Arsenal started to look more dangerous as Cozier-Duberry moved over to the right wing.

In the closing stages Cozier-Duberry came agonisingly close to getting a winner, with his shot going just wide.

There were six added minutes and Arsenal were thankful to Sweet late on, with the right-back making a precisely-timed interception to thwart the danger.

Arsenal have now secured two consecutive draws and although there is still room for improvement, things are at least now moving i the right direction.

Edwards provides a real focal point up front and it was encouraging to see him complete 90 minutes, while Matt Smith impressed in the second half and Cozier-Duberry was a threat after coming on.

Ben Cottrell also had some good moments and special praise should be reserved for Sousa, who was effective both defensively and in an attacking sense.

There are just five games remaining for the U21s now and they will be determined to finally return to winning ways before the end of the campaign as belief continues to grow within the group.

Reuell Walters trains with Arsenal first-team and could be on bench against Leeds United

Reuell Walters trained with the Arsenal first-team squad again today.

With William Saliba ruled out of tomorrow’s game against Leeds United due to injury, Walters could be on the bench at Emirates Stadium.

18-year-old Walters, who can play at right-back or centre-back, was an unused substitute away to Sporting Lisbon and at home to Crystal Palace.

It is anticipated that Walters will miss tonight’s U21 game away to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Sagoe Jr, Bandeira, Matt Smith and Walters train with Arsenal first-team

A group of Arsenal youngsters were involved in training with the first-team squad at London Colney today.

As shown in footage from Sky Sports, Charles Sagoe Jr, Mauro Bandeira, Matt Smith and Reuell Walters all trained with the squad.

Thomas Partey was involved in the session but William Saliba, who is an injury doubt for Saturday’s game against Leeds United, was absent.

Alex Kirk set to return to Arsenal as Ayr United loan spell ends early due to injury

Arsenal defender Alex Kirk has seen his loan spell at Ayr United come to an early end due to injury.

The centre-back made a major impact during his first loan spell, making 20 appearances in the Scottish Championship, while also featuring in cup competitions. He scored two goals.

Kirk, 20, has yet to make a competitive senior appearance for Arsenal but he was named on the bench against West Ham United last season and also travelled with the first-team to Dubai for a training camp.

The youngster will work on his recovery from injury at London Colney and could be loaned out again next season.

Cozier-Duberry scores for England U19s; Smith Rowe features for U21s

Amario Cozier-Duberry scored his first goal for England U19s in their 2-0 win over Turkey. Reuell Walters started and played the whole game.

Emile Smith Rowe came on in the 62nd minute and had a shot saved as England U21s lost 2-1 to Croatia.

Myles Lewis-Skelly started and Ethan Nwaneri featured as a substitute as England U17s lost 1-0 to the Netherlands.

Lino Sousa started for England U18s in a 3-0 win over Switzerland.

Brooke Norton-Cuffy was in action as England U20s drew 1-1 with France (via Youthhawk).

Report – Bradley Ibrahim scores but Amani Richards returns to haunt Arsenal U18s in defeat to Leicester

U18 Premier League

Arsenal 1 (Ibrahim 57 (pen.) Leicester City 2 (Richards 74, 88)

Image: Arsenal FC
Amani Richards, previously of Arsenal, scored twice for Leicester

Arsenal U18s were beaten by Leicester City today in their last game before their FA Youth Cup semi-final, with their former striker Amani Richards returning to haunt them at London Colney.

Bradley Ibrahim put Arsenal ahead from the penalty spot, but Richards, who left the Gunners last year due to a lack of opportunities, equalised for Leicester.

In a remarkable conclusion to the game both sides had players sent off late on, with Coby Small dismissed for Arsenal and Leicester’s Kevon Gray also given his marching orders.

Richards missed a penalty but atoned for his error by scoring what proved to be the decisive goal with just two minutes remaining as Leicester won 2-1.

The result means Jack Wilshere’s team have lost their last three games going into next week’s Youth Cup clash with Manchester City.

Arsenal were without the likes of Ethan Nwaneri and Myles Lewis-Skelly due to international duty.

With Seb Ferdinand still out there was a first competitive start at this level for winger Ismeal Kabia, while Small and Ismail Oulad M’Hand also started.

There was some positive news on the fitness front, with Henry Timi Davies receiving his first inclusion in a matchday squad this season after recovering from injury. Schoolboys Camron Ismail and Daniel Oyetunde were also on the bench. However, Tino Quamina, Mathaeus Roberts and Kaleel Green weren’t in the squad.



Ismail Oulad M’Hand-Ibrahim



Subs: Forde (for Kabia, 61), Camron Ismail (for Brown, 68). Not used: Rojas, Davies, Oyetunde.

Following a goalless first half, Arsenal took the lead in the 57th minute as Ibrahim scored from the spot.

Arsenal then introduced Romari Forde in place of Kabia before Camron Ismail entered the fray, with Luis Brown being substituted.

It was Leicester who would get the next goal, however, with Richards scoring in the 74th minute.

Small was sent off for Arsenal, with Leicester’s Gray also dismissed.

Richards missed a penalty but then scored shortly afterwards as he relished inflicting misery on his former club.

Arsenal, who have won just five out of 18 league games this season, are down to eighth place out of 12 teams.

Osman Kamara continuing to make impressive progress for Arsenal

With a host of players absent due to international duty, Osman Kamara received his first Premier League 2 callup as Arsenal U21s took on Blackburn Rovers yesterday.

Kamara had previously featured for the second-string in the Premier League International Cup, but this was still a significant step forward for the player who is the youngest out of Arsenal’s 2022 scholarship intake.

This season Kamara has been one of Arsenal’s standout performers at U18 level and he has especially come to the fore in the club’s FA Youth Cup run, with his contributions as a substitute having helped Jack Wilshere’s side reach the semi-finals of the competition.

Kamara mainly features out wide for the U18s but he was deployed as a striker when he entered the fray late on for the U21s yesterday.

Although he is still raw in some aspects, Kamara has excellent technical ability and he is capable of holding up play superbly. In addition he can score spectacular goals at times, as evidenced by his amazing strike for the U18s against Crystal Palace recently.

The 16-year-old will be determined to feature again for the U21s before the conclusion of the campaign and it seems likely that next season he will be heavily involved at that level.

Kamara can certainly be pleased with the contribution he has made this season and if Arsenal are to get past Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup semi-finals then it is likely that he will be required to make an impact again.

Ethan Nwaneri hits another brace for England U17s; Emile Smith Rowe scores for U21s

Ethan Nwaneri scored a brace again as England U17s won 2-0 against their Northern Ireland counterparts.

Nwaneri started the game, while Myles Lewis-Skelly featured as a substitute.

Emile Smith Rowe was on the scoresheet with a header as England U21s beat France 4-0. Smith Rowe played 65 minutes at the King Power Stadium.

Amario Cozier-Duberry started and played 78 minutes as England U19s lost 1-0 to Iceland. Reuell Walters came on in the 33rd minute.

Brooke Norton-Cuffy was on the bench as England U20s beat USA 4-2.

On Friday Lino Sousa started and played 61 minutes as England U18s were beaten 3-0 by Belgium.

Report – Charles Sagoe Jr scores but Arsenal U21s concede late equaliser in draw with Blackburn Rovers

Premier League 2

Blackburn Rovers 1 (Leonard 90) Arsenal 1 (Sagoe Jr 10)

Image: Arsenal FC

Arsenal U21s came agonisingly close to ending their winless run, but a late equaliser from Blackburn Rovers meant that they had to settle for a point today.

Charles Sagoe Jr opened the scoring in the tenth minute as Mehmet Ali’s side found the net for the first time in over four games.

The young Gunners battled well against a Blackburn side that are fighting to avoid relegation but their run without a win has now extended to eight matches.

Arsenal were without a host of players due to international duty, with Amario Cozier-Duberry, Reuell Walters, Lino Sousa, Ethan Nwaneri, Omari Benjamin and Myles Lewis-Skelly amongst those missing. Joel Ideho was also absent, presumably due to injury.

Khayon Edwards and James Sweet made their first starts since returning from injury, while Henry Jeffcott and Catalin Cirjan also came into the side. U18 players Noah Cooper, Bradley Ibrahim, Josh Nichols, Jimi Gower and Osman Kamara were named on the bench, with the latter pair receiving their first callups for a Premier League 2 fixture.



M. Smith


Cottrell-Edwards-Sagoe Jr

Subs: Ibrahim (for Cirjan, 68), Gower (for Sweet, 82), Kamara (for Edwards, 90). Not used: Cooper, Nichols.

Blackburn, who lost 4-1 at Meadow Park earlier in the season, enjoyed a lot of possession early on.

However, it was Arsenal who took the lead in the tenth minute, with Sagoe Jr scoring his fifth league goal of the season after being found by captain Matt Smith.

The hosts sought to respond, with Hubert Graczyk having to make a couple of stops.

At the other end Ben Cottrell, who was deployed on the right wing, had an effort saved as Arsenal looked to add to their lead.

The game really started to open up, with Zach Awe having to make an important block. Arsenal then continued to attack, with a cross from Jeffcott just eluding Edwards and Cottrell then shooting wide after exchanging passes with Sweet.

Arsenal went into the break with their lead intact, with Graczyk having to race off his line to cut out the danger in one incident.

In the second half Mauro Bandeira had a couple of opportunities from free-kicks which went over before Smith’s shot was saved after he linked up with Cottrell.

Arsenal made their first change, with Ibrahim coming on for Cirjan and then Sweet found Edwards, whose effort was off target.

Blackburn really started to up the intensity and hit the base of the post with one effort before Graczyk had to make another save.

Gower and later Kamara came on for their Premier League 2 debuts as Arsenal looked to see the game out.

There were six added minutes and in the first of them Blackburn got the equaliser as Bandeira, who had been switched to right-back, got caught out and a cross was delivered, with Harry Leonard waiting to steer the ball home.

Arsenal had an opportunity to restore their lead late on, but Smith wasn’t able to find the net with his free-kick.

Overall, Arsenal’s performance was better than many of their displays recently, but the manner in which they switched off at a crucial moment was concerning.

In hindsight perhaps Nichols, who is a natural right-back, should have been brought on in that position instead rather than moving Bandeira out there.

The return of Edwards up front has at least given Arsenal more of a focal point and improved the overall cohesion of the play, although the team are not quite at the same levels that they were producing earlier in the season.

There are six games remaining before the end of the season, and Arsenal will be determined to end their winless run sooner rather than later.

Ethan Nwaneri scores twice and Myles Lewis-Skelly features as England U17s beat Denmark

Arsenal youngster Ethan Nwaneri scored a brace as England U17s won 3-1 away to Denmark today.

Nwaneri, who was deployed out wide, scored in the ninth and 31st minutes, with Manchester City’s Justin Oboavwoduo, who will face Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup next month, also on the scoresheet.

Just after the hour mark Nwaneri was withdrawn, with his Arsenal team-mate Myles Lewis-Skelly also being taken off.

Amin Chiakha got a goal back for Denmark but England still ran out winners in their first qualifying group game.

Meanwhile, Lino Sousa featured as a substitute as England U18s beat Croatia 2-1.

Reuell Walters played the whole game as England U19s beat Hungary 1-0. Amario Cozier-Duberry came on in the 77th minute.

Brooke Norton-Cuffy started for England U20s in a 2-0 win over Germany.