Report- Akpom hits brace and provides assist as Arsenal U23s beat Derby


Image: Telegraph

Chuba Akpom scored a brace and Chris Willock was also on target as Arsenal U23s registered their first victory of the season with a 3-1 win over their Derby County counterparts at St George’s Park.

The young Gunners started the season woefully as they suffered three successive defeats, but their display tonight provided an indication of the array of attacking talent that coach Steve Gatting has at his disposal.

Akpom is vastly experienced at this level and he put that knowledge to good use with a couple of neat finishes, while Stephy Mavididi impressed in a slightly deeper position to where he is usually deployed.

Arsenal, at long last, were able to call upon a defence containing four defenders, with Marc Bola making his first appearance of the season at left-back. Hugo Keto came in for Matt Macey in goal, whilst Gedion Zelalem and Chiori Johnson also featured.


Johnson-Bielik-Da Graca-M. Bola

M Niles-Zelalem

Sheaf-Mavididi-C. Willock


Subs: DaSilva (for M. Bola, 70). Not used: Dragomir, Bennacer, Mourgos, DaSilva.

Arsenal appeared eager to make an early impact and they did just then when Akpom played a neat ball into the path of Willock, who finished adroitly to open the scoring with just six minutes gone.

The winger could well make his competitive debut for the first-team against Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup later this month, and is starting to add goalscoring to his array of attributes.

Arsenal were dominant in the early stages, with Akpom and Mavididi both seeing efforts saved before the former eventually found the net with a precise finish.

Gatting’s side strung together some intricate moves but Derby were determined to avoid suffering further damage. Gedion Zelalem’s ambitious effort was cleared away, with Ben Sheaf, who was deployed on the right wing on this occasion, then failing to find the net.

Derby posed slightly more of a threat in the second half, with Keto having to make some interventions on his first competitive appearance at this level.

It was Arsenal, though, who remained on top, with Akpom scoring the goal of the game as he showed his strength and speed to latch on to a pass before finding the net once more.

Bola then came very close to making it 4-0 but his powerful effort rattled the crossbar.

Derby managed to get a consolation goal when Charles Vernam scored a penalty, but that did nothing to diminish a superb night’s work from Arsenal, and Akpom in particular.


Zelalem and Maitland-Niles left out of Arsenal’s 40-player Youth League squad

Image: Telegraph

Arsenal have submitted their UEFA Youth League squad for the group stages of the competition, with the club deciding not to include Gedion Zelalem, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Ismael Bennacer and Tyrell Robinson as overage players.

Instead Chiori Johnson, Marc Bola and Aaron Eyoma have been named as the three overage players, while schoolboys Trae Coyle, Arthur Okonkwo, Mark McGuinness, Xavier Amaechi and Vonte Daley-Campbell also make the cut.

There are some more experienced players included, with Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Krystian Bielik and Chris Willock all named.

All of the club’s new scholars are eligible for the competition. U23 goalkeepers Matt Macey and Deyan Iliev are over the age limit for the UEFA Youth League.

Possible strongest team


Johnson-Bielik-Da Graca-M. Bola


Nelson-Reine Adelaide-C. Willock


Subs: Virginia, T. Bola, Pileas, Malen, Eyoma, Hinds, Dragomir.

Other eligible players: Okonkwo, McGuinness, Daley-Campbell, Thompson, Olowu, Ballard, Omole, Osei-Tutu, Tella, Smith-Rowe, Mourgos, DaSilva, Gilmour, Burton, Benson, Tormey, Beckford, Amaechi, Coyle, J. Willock, Fortune, Nketiah. 

Nwakali amongst ten youngsters to train with Arsenal first-team


Arsenal trained at London Colney today, and, whilst most of the focus was, inevitably, on the new signings Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez, who had their first session with the club, there was another summer arrival on show, with Kelechi Nwakali joining the squad.

Nwakali, the talented Nigerian midfielder, completed his protracted move to Arsenal this summer before being loaned out to Dutch second divsion side Maastricht.

Paperwork still needs to be completed before he can officially link up with his loan club, but Nwakali will doubtless be delighted to have trained with the squad, with players such as Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, Nacho Monreal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain amongst those involved today.

There were also a host of other youngsters called upon, as Krystian Bielik, Chiori Johnson, Matt Macey, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Stephy Mavididi, Gedion Zelalem, Ben Sheaf, Savvas Mourgos and Chris Willock also trained.


Arsenal youngsters Fortune and Tella suffer injury setbacks

Arsenal youngster Yassin Fortune is set for another spell on the sidelines after suffering a hip injury. 

The attacker missed most of pre-season and the commencement of the campaign and he is now set for another month out. 

Winger Nathan Tella, meanwhile, faces a lengthy lay off after suffering an injury in training, but there is better news regarding midfielder Charlie Gilmour, who is closing in on a return to action and could feature for the U18s against Chelsea later this month. 

Prolific Nketiah signs professional terms with Arsenal


Arsenal youngster Edward Nketiah has been rewarded for the tremendous impact he has made at U18 level by being awarded his first professional contract with the club.

The 17-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Chelsea as a schoolboy, was sensational last season as he scored 24 goals in 28 appearances for the U18s, while he has three goals at that level so far this campaign.

A clinical striker who is also capable of linking play effectively, Nketiah broke into the Arsenal U21 side in the latter stages of last season and will hope to feature for the rebranded U23s this campaign while also making an impact in the UEFA Youth League.

Nketiah signed his deal last week, with official confirmation expected from the club shortly. His progression to professional terms leaves Kostas Pileas, Nathan Tella and Joe Willock as the remaining second-year scholars.


Arsenal Champions League squad: Bielik and Reine-Adelaide included; Mertesacker and Welbeck left out


Arsenal have submitted their list of senior players for the Champions League group stages, with new signings Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez and Rob Holding making the cut.

Youngsters Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Krystian Bielik are included, as is Carl Jenkinson, but Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck, who are currently injured, have been left out. Matt Macey has also been omitted.

Hector Bellerin, Alex Iwobi and Chuba Akpom are on the B List.

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2016-09-02 18_55_18-UEFA Champions League - Arsenal –

Sanogo, Mustafi and 53 youngsters included in Arsenal’s Premier League squad 

Arsenal have submitted their Premier League squad for the first half of the season with goalkeeper Matt Macey included on the senior list. 

Mathieu Debuchy and Yaya Sanogo have also been named along with injured quartet Carl Jenkinson, Danny Welbeck, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel. 

New signings Lucas Perez, Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka have been included. 

First team players Hector Bellerin, Chuba Akpom, Alex Iwobi, Rob Holding and Jeff Reine-Adelaide are all on the U21 list. 

The senior players out on loan- Jack Wilshere, Wojciech Szczesny, Joel Campbell and Takuma Asano- have been left out but the younger loanees including Kelechi Nwakali are on the U21 list. 

Tyrell Robinson remains an Arsenal older for now with his move to West Bromwich Albion yet to be completed. 

The club’s new intake of scholars are all included on the U21 list. 

Arsenal Premier League squad:

Senior list 

Gabriel, Cazorla, Cech, Coquelin*, Debuchy, Elneny, Gibbs*, Giroud, Jenkinson*, Koscielny, Macey*, Martinez*, Mertesacker, Monreal, Mustafi, Ospina, Oxlade-Chamberlain*, Ozil, Perez, Ramsey*, Sanchez, Sanogo, Walcott*, Welbeck*, Xhaka. 

*= homegrown. 

U21 list 

Akpom, Ballard, Beckford, Bellerin, Bennacer, Benson, Bielik, M. Bola, T. Bola, Burton, Chambers, Crowley, Da Graca, DaSilva, Dragomir, Eyoma, Fortune, Gilmour, Hinds, Holding, Huddart, Iliev, Iwobi, Johnson, Kamara, Keto, Maitland-Niles, Malen, Mavididi, McGuane, Moore, Mourgos, Nelson, Nketiah, Nwakali, O’Connor, Olowu, Omole, Osei-Tutu, Pileas, Pleguezuelo, Reine-Adelaide, Robinson, Sheaf, Smith-Rowe, Tella, Thompson, Toral, Tormey, Virginia, C. Willock, J. Willock, Zelalem.