Arsenal youth talent Donyell Malen played 90 minutes for the Netherlands u17 side on Friday but they couldn’t get their European Championships off to the desired start.

Malen started with a number of his former Ajax teammates as the Dutch u17s kicked off their tournament against a strong Spain side.

Spain took the lead with 15 minutes on the clock through Barcelona youth player Jordi Mboula. The winger is on the verge of playing for Barcelona’s UEFA Youth League side and took his opportunity to impress for the national youth team to get Spain’s tournament underway.

There were chances for Malen either side of half-time but the Arsenal striker, playing in attacking midfield, couldn’t add to the only goal he has for Netherlands u17s so far, netted back in March.

Spain’s lead was doubled by another teenager from Barcelona, Abel Ruiz, and the game was all but settled.

A decent chance presented itself to Malen towards the end of the game but the target was missed and the Netherlands fell to a 2-0 defeat.

Malen’s next game at the tournament comes against Italy on Monday and the Netherlands will have to win to have any chance of progressing.

Before then, Reiss Nelson could be involved later on Friday as England take on Sweden.

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