By Sir Hardly Anyone
It has been many a long year since the broadcasters, blogs and newspapers had a big positive story about Arsenal, but today there is one.
Which is why they have studiously ignored it.
But I have to thank GoonerNews.com for pointing me to Football Talent Scout – on this occasion and their list of the Top 50 teenagers in world football.
The list consists of players born after 1 January 2001 – and Arsenal have three players in the top ten!
2. Eduardo Camavinga (FRA, 2002, defensive midfielder, Rennes)
3. Mason Greenwood (ENG, 2001, striker, Manchester United)
5. Rodrygo (BRA, 2001, winger, Real Madrid)
6. Gabriel Martinelli (BRA, 2001, striker, Arsenal)
8. Ansu Fati (ESP, 2002, winger, FC Barcelona)
9. Bukayo Saka (ENG, 2001, left-back, Arsenal)
10. William Saliba (FRA, 2001, centre-back, Arsenal)
To give the complete picture Arsenal don’t have any other players listed in the top 50, which might sound a bit naff, until you realise that no other club has three players in the whole of the top 50, let alone the top ten!
Chelsea who have been renown for scooping up all of Europe’s best youngsters and then farming them out on loan year after year after year, have just one player in the top 50. That Fifa transfer ban, and the lack of attendance of their Czar in chief at any home games in the past year, plus the abandonment of their stadium project after the Czar was refused a work residency permit, has meant the club has become less attractive all of a sudden.
Chelsea’s single player in the top fifty is Billy Gilmour, a Scottish central midfielder, who chimes in at number 11.
We might also expect PSG to be on the ramparts with their mega funding but it is possible that The Fifa / PSG / Swiss corruption cases which are studiously ignored by the British media are in fact taking their toll when it comes to scooping up the younger players.
And what of Barcelona? They have Fati in the top ten above, and the winger Pedri who is on loan to Las Palmas plus at number 42 Ilaix Moriba. So three in the 50, but only one in the top 10.
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Manchester City, another club in trouble with the law, and now known throughout as the club with the wildest approach to negotiations ever seen in football (just look at how they dealt with Uefa while trying to argue that they were innocent of all charges by blaming the legal system for being corrupt and threatening to bring the whole thing down) have Eric Garcia, the centre back. And that’s all.
Of course Real Mad would be really mad if they weren’t in the list somewhere especially with Barcelona in such a financial pickle, and they have at number 27 Takefusa Kubo and at 41 Israel Salazar.
Liverpool won’t mind only have one player at number 48 (Curtis Jones) given their league performance this season – not an unbeaten season of course but way out in front at the top. But the trouble when you become this dominant is how on earth you give youngsters a game.
Here’s the rest of the top 50.
12. Myron Boadu (NED, 2001, striker, AZ Alkmaar)
13. Adil Aouchiche (FRA, 2002, central midfielder, PSG)
14. Jude Bellingham (ENG, 2003, central midfielder, Birmingham)
15. Thiago Almada (ARG, 2001, second striker, Velez)
16. Tanguy Kouassi (FRA, 2002, centre-back, PSG)
17. Pedri (ESP, 2002, winger, Las Palmas/FC Barcelona)
18. Eric Garcia (ESP, 2001, centre-back, Manchester City)
19. Sebastiano Esposito (ITA, 2002, striker, Inter)
20. Naci Ünüvar (NED, 2003, attacking midfielder, Ajax Amsterdam)
21. Giovanni Reyna (USA, 2002, attacking midfielder, BVB)
22. Fábio Silva (POR, 2002, striker, FC Porto)
23. Talles Magno (BRA, 2002, winger, Vasco)
24. Robert Navarro (ESP, 2002, attacking midfielder, Real Sociedad)
25. Karim Adeyemi (GER, 2002, striker, RB Salzburg)
26. João Pedro (BRA, 2001, striker, Watford)
27. Takefusa Kubo (JPN, 2001, winger, Real Madrid)
28. Ronaldo Camará (POR, 2003, central midfielder, Benfica)
29. Yari Verschaeren (BEL, 2001, attacking midfielder, Anderlecht)
30. Ryan Gravenberch (NED, 2002, central midfielder, Ajax Amsterdam)
31. Filip Stevanović (SRB, 2002, winger, Partizan)
32. Gabriel Veron (BRA, 2002, winger, Palmeiras)
33. Hannibal Mejbri (FRA, 2003, central midfielder, Manchester United)
34. Darío Sarmiento (ARG, 2003, winger, Estudiantes)
35. James Garner (ENG, 2001, defensive midfielder, Manchester United)
36. Adam Hlozek (CZE, 2002, striker, Sparta Prague)
37. Jérémy Doku (BEL, 2002, winger, Anderlecht)
38. Kang-in Lee (KOR, 2001, attacking midfielder, Valencia)
39. Benoît Badiashile (FRA, 2001, centre-back, AS Monaco)
40. Joelson Fernandes (POR, 2003, winger, Sporting CP)
41. Israel Salazar (ESP, 2003, striker, Real Madrid)
42. Ilaix Moriba (ESP, 2003, central midfielder,FC Barcelona)
43. Matías Palacios (ARG, 2002, attacking midfielder, San Lorenzo)
44. Lucien Agoume (FRA, 2002, defensive midfielder, Inter)
45. Joshua Zirkzee (NED, 2001, striker, Bayern)
46. Kacper Kozłowski (POL, 2003, central midfielder, Pogoń Szczecin)
47. Eduardo Quaresma (POR, 2002, centre-back, Sporting CP)
48. Curtis Jones (ENG, 2001, central midfielder, Liverpool)
49. Strahinja Pavlović (SRB, 2001, centre-back, Partizan)
50. Victor Mollejo (ESP, 2001, winger, Atletico Madrid)
Meanwhile Bild saying that Arsenal have shown ‘concrete interest’ in signing one of Bayern Munich star prospects, from their second team, Angelo Stiller. Metro, Sports Mole, Boot Room also carry the tale.
This is 19-year-old Angelo Stiller, a defensive midfielder who has been catching the eye of Gunners scouts with an impressive array of performances.
The story is the “scouts were ‘particularly enthusiastic’ about his performances in the UEFA Youth League and he is now reportedly firmly on their radar ahead of the summer transfer window.
“Stiller has one year remaining on his contract and is said to be keen to receive first-team football. With Guendouzi and Martinelli, as well as the crop of academy graduates, breaking into the senior set-up, Arsenal have proven that they are willing to hand young players the chance to start if they are ready” according to the renowned source Football London.