Thursday, March 27, 2014
First-teamers receive more game time as debate circles over who will join them

First-teamers receive more game time as debate circles over who will join them

Another week, another high-profile match in the U21 Premier League for Arsenal, as several first-team players, including Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere, helped Terry Burton’s side return to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Reading.

Andre Santos, Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong were also involved, the latter completing a full 90 minutes for the first time since his return, and, with the next second-string fixture not due to take place for a fortnight, the club are currently working on arranging a game next week as those players mentioned, particularly Sagna and Wilshere, look to move a step closer to joining up with the first-team on a regular basis again.

Much debate, however, is beginning to circle around those currently outside the first-team squad, particularly the new scholars who are seeking to gain as much experience as possible during their first full seasons at the club.

Three of them, Jack Jebb, Chuba Akpom (pictured) and Austin Lipman, have already signed professional terms, with striker Akpom putting pen to paper on his birthday earlier this week having greatly impressed since being handed the role of being the club’s principal striker at U21 level despite being just 16 years of age.

Akpom scored his first goal for that age group in the aforementioned game against Reading, with dynamic German winger Serge Gnabry also on the scoresheet, and has also greatly impressed in the NextGen Series so far this campaign, save for an anonymous performance at home to Olympiacos. His good form has also seen him fast-tracked at international level, where he impressed for England U19s recently, and Arsene Wenger, who was present when Akpom signed his new deal this week, is fully aware of the forward’s potential.

Another first-year to catch the eye in the opening months of the new season is Glen Kamara, a stylish yet tenacious defensive-midfielder who was plucked from Southend United towards the end of last season. Kamara has started to hold down a regular place in Pat Holland’s U18 side, demonstrating his qualities by breaking up play effectively and distributing the ball with precision. His class was evident immediately and his ability shone through even during the most difficult of circumstances as the young Gunners suffered a hefty opening day defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers.

In contrast, young defenders Tom Dallison, a centre-back signed from West Ham, and Arinse Uade, a Nigerian left-back who came through the club’s Hale End Academy, have struggled a little since becoming full-time players, but it is still very early days and they have until the end of next season to prove themselves worthy of joining the likes of Akpom in signing a professional contract. They can take heart from the fact that Kieran Gibbs, now established as first choice left-back for the first-team, wasn’t offered professional terms until more than 13 months into his scholarship deal in 2007.

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33 comments

  1. Besides Miquel is there any other promising young CB in our academy??

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    • Isaac Hayden, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, has done quite well. Other than that, not really at the moment.

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      • Thanks. Also are there any good young strikers who could really make it at Arsenal??It is one area where we are really short. It seems like a really long time since we had a striker from our academy(Last one was probably kevin campbell). Akpom looks promising though.

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      • Regarding strikers, it’s true we haven’t produced many since the Academy was granted full status. Akpom is a good prospect, though. Austin Lipman is very hardworking, and schoolboy Jordan Brown is also one to watch out for.

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      • What about Philip Roberts at Iverness?

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      • Midfield Corporal

        Austin Lipman? I think my dad used to drive one of those.

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      • What about Afobe and Aneke?

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      • “afobe and aneke”…….seems like a sound african dish. Jokes aside.

        Aneke is already a star, I reckon this short loan spell will have birds in the air ready to pounce. Definitive loan for him this one. Afobe if we don’t buy any striker then I reckon he’ll be called upon. Or just wenger knows!, stupid me!

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  2. I really hope this Glen Kamara is related to the hilarious Chris Kamara…. and if he sports one of those incredible tashes, all the better.

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  3. I must say I’m rather optimistic about our youth prospects. http://youtu.be/WxhZSwHDIUc goal starting at around 4 minutes in is particularly tasty.

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  4. Eisfeld? Whats happened to this kid?

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  5. I can’t wait to see Wellington and Campbell playing with the Cannon on their chests.

    Bits I’ve seen of them look very promising!

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    • Yes I was particularly excited for Campbell after seeing him a decent amount of times last year, the kid looked strong fast skillful combative and had a great shot on him but this year I’ve heard exactly zero about him. Jeorge could you tell us whatsup with him? Also how does Manure always get work permits for their south americans, like the striker they got this summer from Chile or something, but we always struggle, Campbell was a regular starter for the Ticos national team and Manure’s Henriquez only made 11 appearances for his club last year, yet he got a permit no problem, that kind of blatant unfairness really pisses me off…not only do they get a minimum 20 points a season from bullshit penalties that refs gift them but they also somehow get favoritism from the government too..and that is why everyone hates United and their fans. Sorry for the rant but I feel like people don’t bring this up enough

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      • Campbell not getting a permit is a bit baffling, but that Henriquez boy United have signed scored four in ten in the Copa Libertadores last year, at the age of 17. Pretty sure he is an “exceptional talent”.

        A bit stranger, IMO, is how Ryo got a work permit; he really hadn’t done anything last summer when he got one, and, tbh, I haven’t seen that much from him that’s seemed properly amazing.

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      • Good rant, I like it and agree completely.

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  6. Any one know what the attendance was for the U-21 game at Barnet last Monday ?

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  7. Gnabry, Akpom, Eisfeld & Miquel = future stars I haven’t seen much of Kamara but I’ve heard very good things. Don’t forget Martinez in goal.

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  8. Is there something I’m missing about Afobe?

    From the clip I saw I the England U19′s v. Greece he looked quite handy. Good control and hold up play. He appears to be big enough to be a target man in the Premiership.

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  9. Hmmm…hope they all make it to the senior team!

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  10. Die hard gunner, whatz with the spam???

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  11. Do not click on the link by Die Hard Gunner. Its spam.

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