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The Arsenal Junior Teams – Season End Review part 4 Attackers

By Andrew Crawshaw

This is the final part of my review of the 2015-16 season from the perspective of the U18, U19 and U21 teams.  Part 1, and Part 2  can be found by following the given links.

Chris Willock – English. Normally used as either a winger or Attacking Midfielder had 26 starts in all competitions last season featuring in all competitions (U18, FA Youth Cup, UEFA Youth League and U21s) scored 8 goals and was given a single yellow card. 

Chris made great strides last season and has certainly propelled himself up the ‘pecking order’.  In particular his performances against Blackburn and Aston Villa as the U21s gained promotion were eye catching in the extreme.  He scored 2 against Blackburn and one against Villa from the right wing position.  He will still qualify as an U18 player this coming season but will expect to become a mainstay of the U21s and will look to training sessions with the first team squad.  A real player for the (not too distant) future.

Emille Smith-Rowe is a left sided attacker who made the breakthrough from the U16s to the U18 squad.  No starts but 2 sub appearances

Donnyell Malen – Dutch.    Donyell will still be an U18 qualified player this coming season.  Last year he made 21 starts (7 U21, 3 UEFA League, 2 FA Youth Cup and 9 U18).  He scored 13 goals and got 2 yellow cards.  Donyell signed from Ajax and is expected to go far.  He will be looking to establish himself as first choice for the U21s this coming season, but may well find himself behind some of the other strikers.  Will need to work really hard this coming season.

Edward Nkeitah – English and a direct competitor for Donyell for the striker position at junior level.  Currently he is ahead of Donyell as he was the leading scorer in the country at U18 level last year with 24 goals.  He made the bench at U21 level at the end of the season but had no starts at that level.  Will still qualify as an U18 player next season but has nothing left to prove at that level.  Will certainly be looking for a permanent place in the U21s assuming he can make the transition to the  next level.  One of my picks as a future First Team Starter bur probably still a year or two away yet.

Joshua Da Silva – English, and will qualify as an U19 player this coming season.  Had 20 starts last year scoring 2 goals and getting 2 yellow cards.  Joshua is in danger of being left behind and will need to really put in a shift during pre-season to re-state his credentials to be an Arsenal player.  Otherwise I fear he will not make the grade at Arsenal.

Kaylen Hinds – English.  Will still qualify as an U18 player next season so still has time on his hands.  Had 20 starts last season (1 at U18, 4 FA Youth Cup, 5 UEFA Youth League and 9 U21).  Scored 6 goals and got a single yellow card.  May well find himself behind Nkeitah this coming year.  Needs to push on.

Stephy Mavididi – English.  Another player who will still be qualified as an U18 player but will certainly be a mainstay of the U21 squad.  He made 23 starts last season – none at U18 level and scored 16 goals.  He was card free.  Trained with the first team squad and will be looking to do that on a more regular basis.  Another of my tips as a future first team player – always providing that he keeps working and stays injury free.

Reiss Nelson – English.  He  will still qualify as an U18 player this coming season, 21 starts last year (10 U21, 1 Youth Cup, 4 UEFA Youth League and 6 U21).  Scored 7 goals and was card free.  Another young winger fighting for his U21 place

Jeff Reine-Adelaide – French.  Jeff is a player with a lot of expectation on his shoulders.  He signed at the beginning of last season and impressed in pre-season but probably failed to quite live up to fans over high expectations.  He is much larger than many of our other youngsters and always looks immaculate when on the ball.  I get the feeling that he is usually in third gear though and rarely contributing to his full potential.  He had 19 starts last season scoring 5 goals and getting 2 yellow cards.  None of his games were at U18 level and he will certainly be a full member of the U21 squad.  If he shows that he is capable of playing to his full potential he will really become a player who it will be a pleasure to watch.  Needs to work harder to get there though.

Nathan Tella – English. Will still be an U18 player next season having come up from the U16s.  Made all 11 starts at U18 level last season as a winger scoring twice.  Will expect to retain that position at the start of the season and try to progress further as the year progresses.

Summary

There is real competition for these places at both U21 and U18 levels which bodes well for all of the junior teams next season.  Can Edward Nkeitah continue his meteoric rise from last season or will Donnyell Malen or Stephy Mavididi do enough to keep him out of the starting line-up at U21 level?  How will all of them cope with the stronger competition of the first division?  It will be interesting to see.

It will also be interesting to see if competition from Kelechi Nwakali will cause Jeff Reine-Adelaide to really start producing.  I can’t see Kelechi getting much game time with the first team during his initial acclimatisation period and he is likely to feature for the U21s  at least at the start of the season despite having a first team squad number.

Recent Posts

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  • The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
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6 comments to The Arsenal Junior Teams – Season End Review part 4 Attackers

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Mr Andrew Crawshaw, good evening to you please and to Mr Tony Attwood and also to the rest of all Untolders.

    You’ve posted an article on the Arsenal academy players performance last season when they were still in the 2nd division of the youth League.

    Of particular interest to me are Stephy Mavididi and Kelechi Nwakali all 18 years of age with Nwakali the most experienced of duo as a result of his successful exploits at the Fifa Under 17 World Cup last year where he did not only captain the Golden Eagles of Nigeria who lifted the Cup, but was voted the most valuable player of the competition.

    And also, Mavididi exploits for the Arsenal academy team last season in their promotion quest to the academy 1st division and his brace in the final match against the Blackburn academy team was a mouth watering performance.

    I believe competition to stake for places in the senior squad next season at the Arsenal attacking midfield position and at their center forward position had to be for these two players to fight for them.

    In this period of time where to get English top quality players signed, is increasing becoming more and more difficult for Arsenal due to the over blotting their transfer fees or outrightly refusal of the player’s parent club to allow the player go to their rival club – Arsenal. The Boss has to diversify his effort in his players recruitment by occasionally promoting any of his academy player who has the pedigree to his senior squad to overcome any frustration at not getting the quality he wanted at the market.

    I believe the Boss knows his players very well. And his at the position to determined which academy player is a top quality grade youth he can promote to his senior squad.

    Nevertheless, the Boss may postpone his buying another midfield(CAMF) this summer if at all he’s interested in buying one. Let him Instead concentrate at buying a top developmental CHB like Rod Holding to understudy Rhinosacker and De Abreu. He could quickly grow to become a top CHB for Arsenal during next season campaign.

    And ofcourse, the Boss has to get a top billing class versatile centerforwad like Vardy as a cover and option to Giroud while Mavididi will be their understudy. And Nwakali also be an understudy to Cazorla and Ramsey at the center of the park.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Could it be the buying back clause activation of Morata from Juventus by Real Madrid rumour which has gone viral on the football internet media, is an arrangements between Real Madrid and Arsenal to buy Morata from Madrid as soon as they’ve gotten him from Juve. So as to help them to part-fund their possible buying of Paul Pogba from Juve?

    And, as result of the uncertainty surrounding Vardy’s transfer to Arsenal, the Boss has in the interim decided to revisit his long interest in signing Morata for Arsenal which was scuppered last 2 season ago when Arsenal wanted to buy him because of Madrid’s insistence of inserting the buyback clause into the transfer deal. I hope I’ve not beaten about the bush.

    At any rate, if at all the Boss wants to sign Morata, on no any account should Arsenal consent to Madrid inserting any buyback clause in the transfer deal of Morata to Arsenal.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Could it be the buying back clause activation of Morata from Juventus by Real Madrid rumour which has gone viral on the football internet media, is a pre-arrangements between Real Madrid and Arsenal to buy Morata from Madrid as soon as they’ve gotten him from Juve. So as to help them to part-fund their possible buying of Paul Pogba from Juve?

    And, as result of the uncertainty surrounding Vardy’s transfer to Arsenal, which has led the Boss to opined that Vardy might remain at Leicester after all. The Boss has in the interim decided to revisit his long interest at signing Morata for Arsenal which was scuppered last 2 seasons ago when Arsenal wanted to buy him because of Madrid’s insistence of inserting the buyback clause into the transfer deal. I hope I’ve not beaten about the bush.

    At any rate, if at all the Boss wants to sign Morata, on no any account should Arsenal consent to Madrid inserting any buyback clause in the transfer deal of Morata to Arsenal.

  • ianspace2014arse_or_brain

    Reiss Nelson having already played at U21 level is well ahead of schedule and is another who has time on his side. I was surprised the paragraph was so short on one of our most improved players of last season

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Reiss Nelson is certainly a real talent for the future and yes one of the most improved players of last season. His date of birth was 10 December 1999 so he is just over 17 years old. With another solid year this coming season I will certainly be talking about him a lot more. He made 6 starts at U21 level last year and will certainly be looking to become an automatic starter this coming year. He will also be hoping to join the first team squad for training sessions. I do think that he is some way off joining the first team squad os a permanent basis. My feeling is that will happen the season after next when he is 19 assuming that he has no interruptions to his progress this next year.

  • Dave

    Reiss Nelson is 16 years of age. Not 17.
    He is way ahead of them all