Today the focus of the footballing world will understandably be on transfers, but Arsenal’s youngsters have had a rather hectic week of their own.
The highlight was undoubtedly the 3-0 victory over their Marseille counterparts in their opening NextGen Series at Underhill on Wednesday night, with a Chuba Akpom brace adding to Nico Yennaris’ earlier strike. Arsenal were utterly dominant in the opening period in front of the watching Arsene Wenger and, although they eased off a little in the second period, the game was well won by then and the victory represents a superb start for the young Gunners in this competition.
It was notable that coach Terry Burton, as he had previously alluded to, provided opportunities for the club’s most promising youngsters, in short those most likely to make a serious impact on first-team affairs. The likes of Hector Bellerin, Martin Angha, Kris Olsson and Serge Gnabry all shone and a similar side is expected when the Gunners continue their campaign at home to Athletic Bilbao next week.
It was also a positive week for the U21s, who followed up their opening day victory over Bolton Wanderers with a pristine dispatch of Blackburn Rovers at Emirates Stadium, with Sanchez Watt, Thomas Eisfeld and Conor Henderson on the scoresheet. The U18s, meanwhile, showed a marked improvement from their initial fixture, turning in a good performance in a 1-1 draw with Rovers. Jon Toral, who also impressed for the NextGen side got the goal.
Much focus has been on players leaving the ranks at Arsenal this week, with Henri Lansbury completing his permanent move to Nottingham Forest. Lansbury, who experienced four loan spells during his time at the club, made just three substitute appearances in the Premier League during his Arsenal career and, with the likes of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey younger than him yet firmly established in the first-team, his chances of a long-term breakthrough were bordering on non-existent.
Meanwhile, centre-back Daniel Boateng, who played three times on loan at Swindon Town last season, has returned to League Two with Oxford United on a temporary basis. In addition, Philip Roberts, a striker with limited experience of second-string football, has made a surprisingly early loan move to the SPL with Inverness, as part of a link-up between the two clubs.4,677 views