Arsenal u21s were held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea City u21s on Friday afternoon, but the game was somewhat significant.
The fixture marked the return of Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky, who played for the first time this season after undergoing knee surgery in the summer.
Also in the line up were highly-talented youth players Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Ismael Bennacer and Donyell Malen, all signed in the summer. They were joined by Chris Willock and Dan Crowley, with Julio Pleguzuelo captaining the side as usual. His regular centre-half partner Krystian Bielik trained with the first team on Friday morning so didn’t feature in the draw.
With Arsenal unable to force the opening goal, Rosicky made way for Marcus McGuane at half-time. Promisingly the 35-year-old didn’t have any complications and could feature for the Gunners in next week’s FA Cup tie against Burnley. McGuane (previously Marcus Agyei-Tabi) was making his u21 debut – he turns 17 at the beginning of February and could be a name to look out for.
Arsenal are currently second in the u21 Premier League table, and remained there when a win would have sent them top above Derby County.
Rosicky’s return means Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck are now the only first team members out injured.