by Andrew Crawshaw
As Tony reported in his article What the top teams did in the transfer window and how deep fake news has seeped. there have been a large number of loan moves for some of the players who we would expect to see in the U23 squad. There have also been a number of players who the Club has announced will be given First Year Scholarships for next season – an indication of progression to the U18 setup.
The new Loanees are:-
- Dan Crowley – MF (Go Ahead Eagles, Holland)
- Chuba Akpom – STR (Brighton)
- Ismaël Bennacer – CM (Tours, france)
- Gedion Zelalem – MF (VVV Venlo, Germany)
- Kaylen Hinds – STR (Stevenage FC)
- Stephy Mavididi – STR (Charlton)
- Marc Bola – LB (Notts County)
- Matt Macey – GK (Luton)
- Krystian Bielik – CB/DM (Birmingham)
- Aaron Eyoma – RB/RW (Volendam, Holland)
There have been three returning Loanees
- Ryan Huddart – GK from Eastleigh
- Dan Crowley – MF from Oxford United
- Glenn Kamara – DM from Colchester
In addition the Club have announced that Left Back Tyrell Robinson (19) has left the club. As a free agent he is still entitled to join another club despite the closure of the transfer window.
A couple of points on the new loan deals :-
Dan Crowley was previously on loan at Oxford United who cut short his time there. He is now getting a reputation of being hot-headed and difficult to handle and seriously needs this loan spell to work out for him. Wonderfully talented though he is, he is nearing the point where he has to show the right aptitude and the hard work necessary to become a successful top level professional.
The rest of the loans look to be straightforward moves to give the players the opportunity to experience first team football on a regular basis.
So who is left within the U23 squad?
Goalkeepers – as Deyan Iliev (21) is currently not available through injury, Ryan Huddart (19) will probably be the first choice; he is likely to be backed up by Hugo Keto (18) with Joao Virginia (17) stepping up from the U18s if needed
Right Back – Chiori Johnson (19) is the first choice and will be backed up by Jordi Osei-Tutu (18)
Centre Back – this is an area where we now look short of experience Kristopher Da Graca (19) and Ben Sheaf (18) would seem to be the most obvious main pairing although Kristopher has been out of the squad recently for some reason. Possible alternatives are first year scholar Joseph Olowu (17) and Kostas Pileas (18). Should he need games for match fitness Rob Holding (21) is still qualified for this level.
Left Back – Newcomer Cohen Bramall (21) will be the first choice backed up by Tojaji Bola (18)
Defensive Midfield – whenever not required for first team duties Ainsley Maitland-Niles (19) will expect to start alongside Josh DaSilva (18), back up to these two will probably come from Glenn Kamara (21) and Marcus McGuane (18).
Attacking Midfield – the three attacking mid-fielders will probably be Reiss Nelson (17), Vlad Dragomir (17) and Chris Willock (18) a very young pairing at this level. When not required by first team duties Jeff Reine-Adelaide (19) is age qualified and may well get some game time to keep match fit. Aaron Eyoma (19) will be expecting to be the main back-up with Savvas Mourgos (18) and Yassin Fortune (18) will also be looking to be involved at this level stepping up from the U18s.
Striker – The two players left are the prolific Eddie Nketiah (17) and Donyell Malen (18). I would expect Eddie to be the No 1 for as long as his goal scoring streak continues.
So who in particular should we look out for during the rest of the season? Here is my pick and reasoning.
- Chiori Johnson – I know Chiori’s dad and will always pay particular attention to his progress. Chiori is a rarity for Arsenal wingers in that he actually likes defending but is quite capable of crossing the ball as well
- Cohen Bramall – it will be very interesting to see if he can adjust to the higher expectations and pressures that his move from non-league football have brought. I really hope that he is able to make the transition
- Vlad Dragomir – for his name alone (a truly awsome moniker) although he also happens to be a pretty good footballer
- Chris Willock – already making a big name for himself at the club and one who is expected to make the transition to the next level
- Eddie Nketiah – still relatively small and not your traditional English striker but a prolific scorer of goals at every level he has played at so far. If he continues his current progress he has the making of a terrific future career
The Club have recently announced the first tranche of youngsters who have been offered first year scholarships for next season. Aged 16 they will look on this as the first major step to becoming professional footballers – they will be looking to progress to signing their first contracts once they reach 17. It also marks a change from being based at Hale End to moving to the senior training facility at London Colney.
The 9 players who have currently been offered deals for next season are :-
- Tyreece Jon-Jules – Striker and England U15 capped
- Trae Coyle – Attacker (already played at U18 level)
- James Olayinka – Midfielder (one sub appearance for U18)
- Falorin Balogun
- Xavier Amaechi – Midfielder
- Vontae Daley-Campbell – Defender
- Mark McGuiness – CB
- Matthew Smith
- Bayli Spencer-Adams
There are still 7 schoolboys who haven’t been given the nod – some of them will probably join the other 9. They are Goalkeeper Daniel Barden, Shae Hutchinson, Joshua Dawodu, Harrison Clarke, Jordan Rusoke, Zak Swanson and Jayden Onen.
There will almost certainly be further changes to this group of ‘newbies’ some may well get offers from other clubs which they find more acceptable and we will certainly be looking to bring in additional youngsters from elsewhere to fill positions where we feel that our intake is light – this year probably in attack and defence as we look to be well served with midfielders.