I started this list the other day, just because I wanted to try and get my head around all the names of young players that crop up.
There was some laughter and criticism of my efforts – laughter because I managed to get people in twice, and criticism because it was said that younggunsblog.co.uk/ and arsenalyouth.wordpress.com/ do it all, already, and don’t make the cock-ups I make.
But it still struck me as an interesting exercise, because although I do like those two sites, they don’t seem to pull together lots of people’s views. I just wondered what would happen if we tried to come up with our own list of the kids most likely to succeed, and kept it on the site, and then saw how right or wrong we were.
So this is not to try and suggest that anyone should look at Untold to find out the real inside information on the kiddies – rather that it is interesting for anyone interested to be able to join in suggesting the 30 players most likely to go on and make it.
I think this is especially worthwhile because of late on other sites there has been something of an attack on the whole youth system, some writers even classing it as a waste of money. My thought was that for anyone who valued what was going on, it might be nice to have our own list that can be changed as time goes by.
Anyway, that’s the thinking, and here is the list, with the latest amendments. It will now shortly go back onto the daily updates section, accessed from the home page, in case you are interested. But if you want to make more comments about the list as it stands, please do.
More alert members of the orchestra will realise that we now only have 28 – so two places are up for grabs. I have removed a few players where there was a universal feeling that their sell-by date had gone, and I also removed a few who were clearly first team already. Then I added in the new suggestions not in the first list – and we have 28.
Comments throughout are from Untold Arsenal readers.
- Afobe, who I regard as almost good enough to make 1st team. Along with Aneke reckoned to be ready to step up at least to the League Cup squad. His scoring records at all levels speak for themselves. Young English striker. Same age as Freeman and only a year younger than Wilshere.
- Aneke – Young English central midfielder currently playing outstandingly well at U18 level.
- Ayling – Yeovil – certain for bigger things. England. After his impressive match Barnet game early this year, I thought he was going to break in the first team too but he got injured. Loan for him next year. Ayling is the Laurent Blanc type CB, using skill and brain rather than power.
- Barazite. One season too early I think. Had a bad injury for a while, now battling back. Holland.
- Bartley – Sheffield Utd – in the squad for next year, been doing really well at Sheffield United recently; back up CB Carling team. England.
- Bothello.. Celta Vigo (I don’t think is quiet good enough – or not good enough yet). Brazil;
- Coquelin. I thought he could come through this year, but he didn’t. Surely not another year in the reserves? I really think he is a talent – it just depends how long it takes to finally make it to the top level. I hope he stays. France.
- Cruise. Too early for him, but in the Diddly Cup team for sure. England
- Deacon had a good start to the season to not sure where he will be next year probably reserves maybe a loan move? Striker, England
- Eastmond. I sure didn’t see his promotion to the first team come through. But there he is, and building his strength all the time. A few more games next season I imagine. England.
- Freeman who is improving in every game. England. Freeman is closer to first team chance than Afobe, Freeman don’t just score ,he provide more on the attacking side of his game (KEEPING BALL,ASSIST…)he is the most improve striker in our youth squad.
- Frimpong.. he needs as many chances as Eastmond. England.
- Galindo (don’t know if he will need to go on loan to Spain next season though to get his EU passport). Bolivia.
- Henderson. Irish Under 21
- JET – Doncaster. Oh yes – he really ought to be breaking through somewhere – not least because he can play every position under the sun. He is getting great reviews. Doncaster is the sort of club that sounds like it should be in the obscurity of league 2 but with JET playing well they are surging up towards the Championship play-offs. English.
- Lansbury..Watford on loan. Maybe another loan. England.
- Mannone – we saw how good he was when he stepped in
- Merida. So what’s he doing? Going to the Athletico Madhouse, or staying with sanity. That goal he scored against Liverpool (I think) was something special. Maybe we could play one team at the weekend and the other midweek. Just to give everyone a chance. Spain
- Miguel is not stolen from Barca – They released him and we bought him when he was playing in the lower Spanish league
- Murphey, Irish striker. I think he got a long term injury.
- Nordtveit, I know that he’s not doing really good in Nurnberg, because he doesn’t get the chances. Another loan. Holland. But we should be aware that the guy is just 19… and there are not many players that AW would loan out for the whole season to a Bundesliga club (I mean, it is the Bundesliga, not the Championship). This should show how highly Nordtveit is rated and that he is supposed to have a strong character. By the way, making 16 appearances (12 starts) in the Bundesliga at 19 is not that bad for a defender (who can actually play as center back, full back or DM), is it? It looks like he was injured as a new manager was appointed and it doesn’t help. But for the last game, he was reported to be back on the bench. When compared to other defensive prospects (except Djourou who for me is an established first team member), the Norwegian is actually the most experienced there with almost 50 first team appearances in the elite of different countries. Nordveit is not doing too bad at Nurnberg, he’s been played out of position, which should do him some good, a la Song. liga club
- Oguzhan Ozakhup Dutch international 20
- Simpson. Is he turning out to be not quite good enough? I am not sure. Problem is he has got so many other people blocking his way through at the moment. England. If we get 1-2mill that will be a good price. There is always someone willing to pay that kind of money for a good player. I just dont think Simpson has developed in the 16 months since he signed his new contract. Lack of development is the one cardinal sin when it comes to young players. Jay Simpson – was never good enough. His Englishness fooled people for a short time. Will be a very good Championship or lower level PL player though.
- Sunu is way too young to break through.. it’ll be early.. if you throw him in now he’ll find it hard to adapt to the physicality.. but surely in the diddly cup. France.
- Szczesny. Brentford. I really think Szczesny might be taking over from him soon, maybe as soon as next season. He looks like one of those rare goalkeeping early-developers like Buffon, Akinfaev, Cech or Lloris. Poland.
- Watt. Been on loan at Southend for a month where he got four games. Just returned.
- Wellington Silva. Young Brazilian striker who is currently playing for Fuminense in Brazil. Joins Arsenal in January 2011. Brazil.
- Wilshere. the time out doing his stuff in the lower part of the league will have done him no harm. And if he has learned that he just has to come on and play, then that will be fine. No fancy tricks, no Bergkamp finishes, just play the game, and you are there. England.
Removed and sent to the first team since the first Golden 30 list was publsihed
Vela, Gibbs, Djourou, Traore
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