UEFA Youth League – Arsenal Players and prospects

UEFA Youth League – Arsenal Players and prospects

by Andrew Crawshaw

The UEFA Youth League is a tournament for players who were born on or after 1 January 1996 – i.e they must be younger than 19 on 1 January 2015.  The tournament is played between the same 32 clubs that make up the group stage of the 2014-15 Champions League and play matches against the same opponents as the senior teams.

The Arsenal players that have been used so far in the tournament are :-


Squad No DOB Name Played Goals
43 06:05:97 Ryan Huddart 3
n/a 19:01:98 Bradley House 1
69 9:2:98 Hugo Keto 1


Squad No DOB Name Played Goals
60 5:11:97 Ilias Chatzitheodoritis 1 0
59 9:12:97 Marc Bola 1 0
55 26:1:97 Julio Pleguezuelo 1 0
52 07:05:97 Tafari Moore 5 0
73 23:01:97 Stephan O’Connor 5 0
78 30:10:96 Elliot Wright 3 0
64 15:11:97 George Dobson 3 0
68 5:10:97 Chiori Johnson 4 0


Squad No DOB Name Played Goals
66 22:9:97 Aaron Eyoma 1 0
77 31:1:98 Christopher Willock 5 1
62 03:08:97 Daniel Crowley 5 5
70 29:8:97 Anthony Maitland-Niles 5 0
35 26:1:97 Gedion Zelalem 5 1
75 05:02:98 Ben Sheaf 1 0


Squad No DOB Name Played Goals
45 03:05:96 Alex Iwobi 5 1
67 28:1:98 Kaylen Hinds 2 3
74 16:9:97 Tyrell Robinson 3 0
71 31:5:98 Stephy Mavididi 5 1

Taking the players in Squad Number order as that probably gives some idea of their place in the overall pecking order, the lower the number the closer they probably are to a regular place with the first team.  Please note this is only a rough guide and shouldn’t be taken literally.  This first group have all signed professional contracts with the club.

35 Gedion Zelalem – German youth international.  Of the players above, Gedion  is probably the most well known.  He is a full blown member of the senior squad and has featured in an advanced midfield role with the main team.  At U19 level he seems to be used more as a deep lying midfielder a role he seems to be struggling with at times.

He is still slightly built and sometimes seems reluctant to tackle opposing players particularly when they are bigger than him.  But he still has a phenomenal ability to play incisive passes and will undoubtedly be a big star in the not too distant future.  I just wish he would gain some more muscle.

43 Ryan Huddart  – England youth international at U16 and U17 level.  He was a mainstay in goal at U18 level last year, very tall with good reflexes he was on the bench for the first team on Wednesday following the injuries to our Szcz and Ospina.  Progressing nicely but given the expected longevity of keepers and the ages of those ahead of him probably more likely to make it away from Arsenal.

45 Alex Iwobi – England youth international at U16 and U17 level.  A winger, has also been part of the first team squad – he was on the bench for the Capital One Cup victory against West Brom last season.  He is a regular in U21 games and signed a professional contract in summer 2014. Still work in progress.

52 Tafari Moore – England youth international at U16 and U17 level.  He is a right back and a regular at U21 level, effectively being Hector Bellerin’s understudy.  He is a solid player good on the ball and contributes well both defensively and defensively.  Definitely has a footballing future – not sure if at Arsenal

55 Julio Pleguezuelo is a centre back who came from Barcelona’s academy.  He is not the tallest of central defenders but has good positional sense.  His time with Arsenal has been somewhat blighted by injury.  Should progress given a run of games.

62 Daniel Crowley is an attacking midfielder of immense talent who will without doubt become a major player with one of the biggest clubs in the world – he has that much potential.  He is currently like a cross between Alexis and Wilshere in terms of playing style.  Definitely the first Daniel Crowley though rather than the new someone else.  Still very young and diminutive in stature which might limit his progression in this country unless the referees are going to deal more harshly with the sort of foul that has blighted Wilshere’s career.

64 George Dobson plays either as CB or DM definitely work in progress at present

70 Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a winger, but can operate in midfield if required and a mainstay of the U21s – England youth international at U17 level.  Is called in to train with the first team on occasions.  Played in midfield against Dortmund as was very impressive.  Definitely one to look out for in the future.

73 Stefan O’Connor – Is English but as yet uncapped at youth level.  He is a tall Centre Back and progressing but again work in progress.

The remaining players are Scholars and haven’t yet been offered (or signed) professional contracts yet.  As such there is little point in me trying to comment on them individually, try to remember the names for the future though.

To find out more about the younger players and their results you can follow them on Arsenal.com or more comprehensively on Jeorge Bird’s Arsenal Youth website.  Jeorge is the ‘go-to’ person for up to date news on the Youth teams (in my opinion) and well worth adding to your Arsenal websites.  Here is a link to his site :- Jeorge Bird’s Arsenal Youth The stars of tomorrow, today.

Remember that the U21s play their home games at Meadow Park, Boreham Wood and games are normally free.  The FA youth cup game is at Meadow Park on 19 December 19:00 kick-off, again entrance is free.  The ground is nice, there is excellent tea and hot dogs etc. in the ground as well.  If you can, please go along to support the younger teams.


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6 Replies to “UEFA Youth League – Arsenal Players and prospects”

  1. Kaylen Hinds and Stephy Mavididi are two very very sublime strikers even at 17/16. We have got more than decent enough young players for the future, hope everything turns out to be good for these guys.

  2. There were updates at Arsenal.com about players on loan.

    Benik Afobe played the entire game for MK Dons (beating them 6-0), with Benik getting the hat trick. How many goals does that man have this season, 100? 🙂

    Carl Jenkinson got 90 minutes in.

    Jon Toral got 3/4 game and an assist.

    Francis Coquelin got 90 minutes in.

    Austin Lipman got a full 90 minutes in.

    Josh Vickers got the full 90 minutes in, and kept a clean sheet.

    The U21 team played on Monday, with Akpom bagging the hat trick. Or is it a wounded hat trick when not all the goals are from open play? 🙂

    Congratulations to all.

  3. Thank you for these updates . Do hope that most progress well enough to see them in the first team in a few years time.
    Up the Young Gunners !

  4. Thanks Andrew looking forward to a few of them stepping up to the first team in a few years time.
    Will Zelalem be the deeper lying play maker and Crowley be the one making war in the opposing penalty area with his ability to twist and turn. As you say if both can bulk up a bit and become stronger physically we might have some amazing players.

    And if the PGMO could care to protect such skilful players of course….

    And then to think about Akpom and Afobe who seem to be doing well at their level for the moment. My worry for them is that might see their road blocked by Alexis, Giroud, Theo and Welbeck for the moment… All still having a lot of good years in front of them. So I hope they can and will be patient enough to wait for their opportunity.

  5. Walter, I echo that concern that players are going to find themselves blocked off a bit now. Probably the people who shout loudest for new signings, and wail there aren’t enough, would be the first to put the boot in if any youngster leaves and goes on to make a brilliant career.

    As with most issues, there are elements of hypocrisy from me- I really do like high- class additions, but I’m also extremely keen on youngsters getting their chance, and I’m also in favour of picking the very best team for almost every game at the moment.
    Managing those competing interests impulses and tasks is of course the job of the manager. And we are now heading ever deeper into a time when more and more people lack the will or ability or basic fair-mindedness to acknowledge the inherent difficulties in dealing with all that, and instead wait till the results are in before performing analysis which behaves as though those results were fore-ordained and could and should have been known in advance. Pretty much anaethema to life and maybe especially to a football match, which features a bit more randomness than a visit to the shops and certainly more hostility and direct opposition to your goals( unless it’s Black Friday)
    As for that seniors vs youngsters situation at the moment, the one that makes me uneasy is podolski. For me he is a player everything is known about now ( in contrast with young players who you can only have strong ideas about and then, through game time, find out about later on), and it amazes me that there remain fans convinced he deserves much more playing time. A bit more, yes, but only in quite specific situations, is my take. As a last throw of dice, or when the opposition isn’t great, particularly in terms of athleticism and energy and so can be pinned back and exposed to the cannon ( which’d need to be wheeled into place if he loses about 20% more zip in those legs)
    Some would say that still amply justifies being kept around and half- placated with minutes here and there, and that it’s essential for any self- respecting big club to have that back up in all areas, and that it is in fact what separates a big club from the rest. Ok, but it is very much incompatible with the goal of bringing youngsters through. Ask Chelsea and City. So , sorry pod, but I’d rather you’d moved on and those minutes had gone to akpom ( who, according to a worrying rumour may look elsewhere- you can imagine city, desperate for home-grown, promising plenty, and delivering on wages immediately, making a strong push)…apart, of course, from that crucial one in Anderlecht, when there’s barely a player in the world I’d want to be taking the shot. Which once more illustrates what a complicated business the management lark is.

  6. Gedion Zelalem may never be the hulk most PL players are expected to be. Not many Ethiopians are. Hopefully his talent will more than compensate a la Cesc.

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