Nketiah strikes as Arsenal U18s are beaten by Fulham

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Arsenal U18s suffered their first defeat since October as they were beaten 3-1 by their Fulham counterparts at London Colney today.

Striker Edward Nketiah was on the scoresheet again for the Gunners as he found the net for the 12th time in a prolific campaign, but that wasn’t enough to prevent Frans de Kat’s side from falling to a disappointing defeat.


Osei Tutu-T. Bola-Pileas-Robinson




Subs: Phillips, J. Willock, Fortune, Chatzitheodoridis, Gilmour. 

There is no time for Arsenal’s youngsters to be too downtrodden, however, with a trip to take on Aston Villa to come on Friday.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed last night that Arsenal will face Coventry City away in the Fifth Round of the FA Youth Cup, with the victors of that tie to host Nottingham Forest, Liverpool or Cardiff City in the following round.


Loan report- Toral scores stunner; Wellington impresses

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Image: Birmingham Mail

Jon Toral played the whole game and scored a stunning volley as Birmingham City beat Ipswich Town 3-0. Ainsley Maitland-Niles was an un-used substitute for the visitors.

Wellington was impressive as he played 86 minutes and came close to scoring during Bolton Wanderers’ 3-1 win over MK Dons.

Isaac Hayden played 71 minutes and was booked as Hull City beat Fulham 1-0. Chuba Akpom wasn’t included in the squad.

Carl Jenkinson endured a miserable evening as he conceded a penalty and then suffered an injury that caused him to be substituted with just 13 minutes gone as West Ham United drew 2-2 with Manchester City.

Glen Kamara sealed his loan move to Southend United on Friday, and he was an un-used substitute for the 3-0 victory over Coventry City yesterday.

Emiliano Martinez wasn’t in the squad for Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers.

Serge Gnabry wasn’t named in the squad for West Bromwich Albion’s goalless draw with Aston Villa.

Yaya Sanogo wasn’t involved as Ajax beat Vitesse 1-0.

Wojciech Szczesny is expected to start when Roma face Juventus tonight.

Gedion Zelalem will hope to feature when Rangers play Greenock Morton away tomorrow.





Four youngsters train with Arsenal first-team pre-Chelsea

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Arsenal held their final training session this morning ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League game at home to Chelsea, with four youngsters in attendance.

Alex Iwobi, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Stephy Mavididi and goalkeeper Ryan Huddart were all called upon for the session.

Meanwhile, Francis Coquelin, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez all participated in the training session, with the latter two set to return to the squad for tomorrow’s game.

Tomas Rosicky was rested from the session after playing for the U21 side yesterday, whilst Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are all still out injured.

Possible team:






Subs: Ospina, Gabriel, Gibbs, Arteta, Elneny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanchez.

Report- Rosicky plays 45 minutes as Arsenal U21s draw with Swansea




U21 Premier League

Arsenal 0 Swansea City 0

The game may not have been a memorable one, but Tomas Rosicky took a significant step in his recovery from injury as he played the first 45 minutes of Arsenal’s goalless draw with Swansea City at U21 level today.

The experienced midfielder showed some encouraging signs as he made his first appearance for the Gunners since May before being substituted in a pre-planned change.

The two sides struggled for attacking momentum throughout, with the game ultimately ending in a rather frustrating stalemate.

There were some notable absentees from the Arsenal line-up, with Glen Kamara poised to join Southend United on loan, whilst Krystian Bielik, Ben Sheaf and the suspended Tyrell Robinson were also missing.

Kristopher Da Graca was drafted in to start his first game for the U21s, whilst Tolaji Bola and Josh Dasilva earned their maiden call-ups at this level and were named on the bench.


Moore-Da Graca-Pleguezuelo-M. Bola


Reine Adelaide-Crowley-C. Willock


Subs: McGuane (for Rosicky, 46), Mavididi (for Reine-Adelaide, 63).

Not used: Keto, T. Bola, Dasilva.

With both sides renowned for their passing philosophies, there was a concern going into this game that the two teams could cancel eachother out.

That certainly appeared to be the case in the early exchanges, with both sides playing some neat passes but ultimately being unable to carve out much in the way of clear cut chances.

Gradually the game started to open up, with Rosicky, by far the most experienced player on show, attempting to take the initiative. The midfielder turned cleverly but his subsequent shot went over the crossbar.

Swansea then responded with their first meaningful effort of the game, but Matt Macey was on hand to gather Jay Fulton’s attempt.

Arsenal were striving arduously to create an opening, with Dan Crowley and Chris Willock combining to good effect, but it was Swansea who would have the next attempt when Macey was forced to claim Josh Sheehan’s long-distance drive.

Despite the difficult weather conditions and Swansea’s resistance, Arsenal kept probing in search of the opening goal and they almost got it through Willock, but the winger’s effort cannoned off the crossbar and Jeff Reine-Adelaide was unable to turn home the re-bound.

Rosicky, as planned, only played 45 minutes, with the highly-regarded Marcus McGuane entering the fray in the second half for his U21 debut.

Arsenal started the second half brightly, with Reine-Adelaide cutting inside and seeing an attempt blocked. However, Swansea then staged an attack of their own, with Macey having to be alert again to deny Fulton.

The second half was slightly more eventful than the first, with both sides, at long last, starting to create more chances. Crowley saw a free-kick gathered by Gregor Zabret before Adam King shot wide at the other end, but the quest to break the deadlock ensued.

Substitute Stephy Mavididi, who replaced Reine-Adelaide, was closed down by Swansea goalkeeper Gregor Zabret before he could get his shot away, with Willock being denied shortly afterwards.

Zabret made another important intervention late on, but Arsenal were unable to make the breakthrough and the game ended goalless.






Arsenal midfielder Glen Kamara set to re-join Southend on loan

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Arsenal midfielder Glen Kamara is poised to rejoin his former club Southend United on loan until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old made his first-team debut for Arsenal in the Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday this season, but the arrival of Mohamed Elneny has pushed him further down the pecking order with the Gunners.

Kamara has trained with the Arsenal first-team on many occasions over the past couple of seasons but his chances of making the grade at the club seem rather slim and the Finland youth international will be seeking to prove his worth in League One.

Kamara initially left Southend in 2012 when he was offered scholarship terms by Arsenal and he has been a mainstay for the Gunners’ youth sides in the ensuing period.


Nelson, Smith-Rowe, Wise + the 17 other youngsters striving for scholarships at Arsenal

Within the next couple of weeks, the Arsenal academy coaching staff will make some considerably difficult decisions regarding which youngsters should be offered scholarship deals for next season.

This year the task is perhaps harder than ever, with no fewer than 20 prospects hoping to be offered a chance to become a full-time Arsenal player.

First of all it is worth considering which positions in the U18 squad will need filling next season.

The current players will still be eligible for the U18s next campaign:

Osei-Tutu, T. Bola, McGuane, DaSilva, Dragomir, Fortune, Gilmour, Nketiah, Pileas, Tella, Malen, J. Willock.

Of that group, Donyell Malen is already an established U21 player so won’t feature much in the U18 league, while the likes of Marcus McGuane, Josh DaSilva and Yassin Fortune should also step up to the second-string.

That would leave eight players as U18 regulars, at least initially, so it seems clear that next season’s intake will be a sizeable one.

With regards to the players in contention for deals next season, there are some youngsters who are pretty much guaranteed an extended stay.

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Reiss Nelson

That is certainly the case for Reiss Nelson, with the winger having been a mainstay for the U18s this season while he has also featured for the U21s, played a prominent part in the UEFA Youth League and trained with the first-team.

Portuguese youth international goalkeeper Joao Virginia, who has been training at London Colney this season, will also be taken on, whilst winger Emile Smith-Rowe, who has reportedly been monitored by Barcelona, is also set to be offered terms.

Then comes the complicated part as the club have to decide which of the remaining Hale End products to take on.


Jordan Perrin

There are two goalkeepers in the mix, with George Phillips and Jordan Perrin both having been on the cusp of the U18 squad this season. With Virginia being signed, it seems likely that one of the homegrown players will be offered a deal, with the other being released.

This season has been notable for the fact that there haven’t been as many schoolboys as usual featuring in the U18s.

A few have gained fleeting experience of that level of football, however. Midfielders Josh Benson and Robbie Burton (a Welsh youth international) are highly regarded, whilst centre-back Toby Omole made a couple of appearances for the U18s last season, as did right-back Rob Howard.

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Nathan Tormey

Earlier this campaign Nathan Tormey, a flying winger, featured as a substitute for the U18s against West Ham United, and he too is in contention for a scholarship contract.

Striker Jay Beckford joined Arsenal from Leyton Orient last year, but it remains to be seen whether he will be taken on.

Henry Wise, the son of former Chelsea player Dennis, is hopeful of earning a deal, with the midfielder having featured for the club at schoolboy level since joining from Queens Park Rangers.

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Joseph Olowu

Joseph Olowu, a centre-back who has risen through the ranks at the Hale End academy, has been a regular for the U16s this campaign, as has attacker Jaidon Anthony, who featured in an U17 game at London Colney last season.

Defenders Jordan Williams and Dominic Thompson are also in contention, along with Mohammed DialloJavaan Campbell, Danny Ballard and Max Sheaf, with the latter being the brother of U21 regular Ben Sheaf.

The coaching staff are expected to make their decisions on all of the above players by the end of January.

It is worth remembering, however, that until the players who have been offered terms officially put pen to paper on their contracts on July 1st, they are free to move elsewhere.

In addition, players who have been offered a scholarship deal can reject the contract, while the club themselves can still offer deals at a later date to players who have been overlooked.

Furthermore, as is often the case, there will probably be further additions to the scholarship intake from elsewhere, with at least one player usually signed from a foreign club.



Fortune strikes as Arsenal U18s beat Leicester

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Arsenal U18s secured their second victory in less than 24 hours yesterday as they beat Leicester CIty 3-1 in their latest league fixture.

Although they were deprived of the services of the players who started the FA Youth Cup game against Swansea City the previous night, Arsenal still ran out victors.

They had to come from behind, however, with Leicester taking the lead in the 35th minute through Kairo Mitchell.

Arsenal equalised courtesy of a goal from Yassin Fortune just before the break and then took the lead after the interval through Savvas Mourgos, who featured as a late substitute in the aforementioned game against Swansea.

The victory was confirmed when Joshua Dasilva made it 3-1 with four minutes of normal time remaining.

Arsenal’s next game at this level is at home to Fulham on January 26th.