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October 2016
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Arsenal addition to the first team will be chosen from this shortlist revealed today.

By Tony Attwood

It is well known that Chelsea have had the largest number of loanees out and about in Europe, and a big youth squad.  Arsenal have been languishing with their under 21s in division 2, gaining promotion at the end of last season.  Man City have built a new stadium just for the youth teams.   Clearly Arsenal are slipping behind and so need to BUY BUY BUY players to catch up.

And yet… Arsenal came second in the league, and neither Man U nor Chelsea are in the Champions League.  And Arsenal keep on bringing these youngsters through.  Just when it looks like we have run out of players… up pops another one.

Of course these youngsters never count in the same way that big name £35,000,000 players count, so we’ve never seen Iwobi, Coquelin and Bellerin listed as big money transfers – at least until Barcelona were reported to be offering £40 million for Bellerin.

Mind you if we had bought Bellerin for £40m and then he’d had a couple of modest games at the start, as he did, the knives would have been out.

So here we are with the pundits suggesting Arsenal have bought one big name and one lesser known player, and that’s it.

But if you really want to know about the next Iwobi, Coquelin, Bellerin, or come to that Campbell, you need to check who has come up from the ranks.    Because, given that the big name transfers have only a 25% chance of making a major impact in their first season (following all the stats we have looked at on this during the past year), there is a strong chance that one or two up and coming youngsters will be full time highly regarded first team players for Arsenal by early next year.

As of today we are in fact getting very much closer to seeing who is going to make it.   Here are a few names to conjure with…  for these are the players who are in these early days of training, working with the first team.   OK, they don’t have big signs on their back saying that they are now first team players (although it is fairly certain for Reine Adelaide who is playing with the number 20 shirt on), but it is a step on the way.   Put another way, those who are not here (like Wellington for example) may be on their way out.

So the players below are the ones who have turned out with the first teamers who are available.  Not proof positive, but somewhere in this bunch is going to be one, or if we are lucky two, players who will be in the class of Coquelin, Iowbi and Bellerin.

The reviews come from Andrew’s previews of all the players from a few weeks back.  There is an index to Andrew’s four complete articles below.

Just remember, one or two of these are likely to be as big as Bellerin, Coquelin, or Iwobi.

Matt Macey – Born 9/9/94 so just qualified as an U21 player last season (but won’t next year).  Played 15 times and was an unused substitute once at the junior level.  Was a regular member of the first team squad and warmed the bench whenever Cech or Ospina wasn’t available.  He is a giant of a man (1.98m or 6ft 6in), noticeably taller than Cech in team photos.  Had a solid season whilst not necessarily spectacular, three clean sheets and 16 goals conceded in his 15 games.  His immediate future for next season will depend to a large degree on movements of players ahead of him in the queue for that elusive first team berth.  He will probably be looking for a loan to get more experience.

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.

Marcus McGuane – Irish, will still be age qualified at U18 level next year but will undoubtably be looking to establish himself as the main man in this position for the U21s, which he is quite capable of doing given the real progress he made last season.

Krystian Bielik had his own article on Untold when he signed, and here it is and below are Andrew’s comments.

Krystian Bielik – Polish, born 4 Jan 1998 so will still qualify as as U18 player next season.  Came to us as a promising Defensive Midfielder but has played as a Centre Back in the vast majority of his 30 starts this season (he started in 4 Youth Cup, 5 UEFA Youth League and 21 U21 games).  He is tall at 1.98m which probably explains us moving his position.  He has retained his midfielder’s instincts and sometimes over-commits with driving runs forward.  Krystian is probably the nearest of the three to the first team squad and with a good pre-season may well force himself into contention, the question is will it be at Centre Back or Holding Midfield?

Jeff Reine-Adelaide is now a definite member of the first team squad. team squad, and Andrew’s preview is below.

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.

Gedion Zelalem  – USA.  Played only a single game before his loan to Glasgow Rangers where he impressed in spells.  Still highly regarded but may well need to have another season on loan before a final decision is made on his long term future.

Serge Gnabry – Germany, will still qualify as an U21 player next season, made 6 starts at the end of the season following his return from West Brom scoring one goal and getting two yellow cards.  Before his ill-fated loan spell was a full member of the first team squad but was nowhere near that level last season.  Will need a good pre-season to re-establish himself into the first team squad where he faced a big challenge to regain either the AM or right wing slot.

Chuba Akpom (d.o.b. 9:10:95) Forward English  He has made 34 appearances this year and has scored 3 goals and one assist, has been given 2 yellow cards.  A rather disappointing season, he would have hoped to have done better.  Will have to have a stellar pre-season to earn a place in the senior squad for next season, more likely another loan spell.  Far too soon for us to give up on him.

Yaya Sanogo – on loan at Charlton and hasn’t exactly set the world on fire there.  Unlikely to have a future at Arsenal.  A probable departee.

The Complete Untold Preview of the Under 18, Under 19, and Under 21 squads.

10 comments to Arsenal addition to the first team will be chosen from this shortlist revealed today.

  • tunnygriffboy

    We certainly have any number of good youngsters at the club. Theif it’s going to be really competitive can be drip fed in now and again which iss great.

    However these are not likely to have the experience we need in certain positions. We desperately need a top quality striker who has scored goals consistently in top leagues. Sanogo and Akpom are not at that level yet by any means.

    Transfer fees are obscene atm but the urgency with which we need support/competition for Giroud means that we will have to pay over the odds. All clubs are doing this. It’s the market. We have the money.

    Thing is we don’t know the manager’s plans and as each day passes anxieties start to creep into supporters mind especially after last summer’s disappointing window.

    Added to this there is a need for a CB. Mert is getting older, Kos is over 30 and will have had a long summer. Chambers needs to play every week somewhere to get experience, good prospect that he is.

    Imo that is the minimum we need to do this window. That, and somehow keeping our star performers fit.Other clubs are buying quality players and the league looks as If it’s going to be more competitive than ever.

    Mr Gazidis assured us that moving to the Emirates means we can compete financially with other clubs. We need to make the most of our financial resources this window.

  • Nonny


    No need to panic. The transfer window just opened 5 days ago and will still be open on for another 8 weeks. Why can’t you just be patient and allow the transfer window pan out. Remember Ozil, he was not available for transfer until the last few days.

    There may be players that are not available now but maybe when their replacements are brought in become available later. Would it be nice to buy a 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice player to satisfy supporters wimps only for the 1st choice player to be available later. What do we do then?

    Even those who make their decision from playing Football Manager or Play Station should know that the transfer window lasts much longer that a week. Learn to exercise patience.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Of all the 9 young Gunners who are listed above, it’s difficult for me to point at any one of them breaking into the Arsenal 1st team squad comes next season. But a miracle can happen to see onebof them breaking into the 1st team.

    If I don’t sound stereotype, I believe the Boss already knows he has to buy a senior top top quality striker and also a top top quality CB after he has bought the CDMF – Xhaka to balance up his 1st team squad properly ahead of this coming season campaign. But who will those 2 new more players be, is what we awaiting the Boss to reveal them to us? And I believe with more patient on our own part, the Boss will reveal the 2 additional new players to us. And they will be awesome.

  • tunnygriffboy


    Patience was exercised last summer and nothing happened. Because of that fans are now becoming twitchy.

    Players may become available last minute. If they don’t it’s a very risky strategy. The league will become more competitive than ever next season.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I do hope that some of the names above will make the grade with us and go on to be future stars of the team . A lot of talent there .

    Unlike the hopes of this guy …..

    A man was shocked to see his beautiful divorced neighbor knocking on his door one Friday evening.
    . “I’m feeling so lonely that I can’t stand it.” she said. “I want to go out, get drunk & want to enjoy my life. Are you free tonight?”

    “Yes!” he replied enthusiastically.

    “Wonderful.” she said. “Then please take care of my kids !

    Moral :Please read instructions carefully before saying yes! All free items come with terms and conditions…!

  • Ajay

    The most over used statement is “the club is bigger than manager or players”. If that is the case why do so called fans have pre set conditions. Only if arsenal sign x,y,z, I will be happy or I am going to sulk the entire season and I am going to spread that poisonous mood among others. I mean get with the team or back off. Arsenal was, is, will always be there for the true Gooners.

  • Polo

    Away from the tv punditry work this is what Robbie Fowler say about AW:

    “He has won trophies, he plays football the right way, he has a knack of getting the best out of footballers, he has been in England for 20 odd years, knows England, knows the English game, so for me he would be perfect.

    Surprise suprise.

  • Andy Mack

    Tony, that is a very odd list.
    Missing the 2 most likely to move up, Toral and A M-N.
    Closely followed by Wellington and Hayden who will most likely stay with the club with this season being their ‘make or break’ season.

  • nicky

    We have lost 3 senior players in Rosicky,Arteta and Flamini and need to replace them with 3 new players of at least the same quality.We already have one in Granit Xhaka .That leaves 2 spaces surely for a top striker and centre back.Although we have signed asano ,he wont be classed as a replacement but surely one for the future.These players need to be chosen carefully and the large ammount of funds we have for these transfers need to be used.

  • Gord

    Ah gee, I was patient for 37 seconds. Isn’t that long enough? If we don’t spend 150 million in this transfer window, I am quitting Arsenal.