A round-up of all the news and gossip surrounding Arsenal’s youth.
It was confirmed earlier on in the week that Thierry Henry has chosen to continue his TV punditry as opposed to focus on coaching the u18 squad. It’s a decision that has raised a few eyebrows whilst setting keyboards alight across various news sites but he remains clear that he’d like to manage the club in future.
As opposed to working alongside Tony Adams in a joint-assistant manager role, he’ll continue to work with Sky Sports. For more, have a read of Paul’s column, here.
Hayden completes Newcastle move
It’s always sad news when a long-serving player departs the club, and 21-year-old midfielder Isaac Hayden is no different. He’s joined Rafa Benitez’ side on a five-year contract deal and will definitely benefit from competing for senior football on a regular basis, provided he stays fit.
Highly-rated by coaches at London Colney, a few troublesome injuries halted his development and saw him drop down the pecking order at the club in terms of talented prospects looking to breakthrough into the first-team properly.
Having shown maturity beyond his years in the u18 and u21 squads, it seemed a spell on loan elsewhere would be important. It was clear from his time at Hull that although consistency wasn’t quite there, he showed flashes of individual brilliance, which made Steve Bruce eager to keep him on a permanent deal.
Instead he’s opted for Newcastle, who were relegated last term and will be hoping for a swift return to England’s top flight. Hopefully, Hayden can succeed up North and help the Geordies achieve promotion and more in the future.
Gilmour signs professional terms
Earlier in the week, we reported that 17-year-old creative midfielder, Charlie Gilmour, has signed his first professional contract with the club. The talented teen, who has represented both England and Scotland at youth level, will be hoping to make his breakthrough at u21 level this forthcoming campaign.
Surprising loan move for Toral
There was more surprising news this week, as talented midfielder, Jon Toral, completed his loan switch to La Liga side Granada for the 2016/17 campaign. After a clean sweep of awards with Championship side Birmingham City last season, the Spaniard was expected to feature during the pre-season tour, at the very least.
Instead, he has joined the La Liga outfit and questions will be asked as to whether he does have a future with us despite his undeniable ability and potential to keep improving under Arsène’s tutelage.
Moore on trial in Netherlands
As we reported earlier in the week, 19-year-old fullback Tafari Moore is on trial with Eredivisie side Utrecht ahead of a possible loan move for the season.
Moore, who turned 19 on July 5th, has struggled with a number of injuries at unfortunate times over the past few seasons – and will be hoping to kick on his progression as he aims to break into the senior side sooner rather than later, following in the footsteps of both Hector Bellerín and Alex Iwobi.
Gabigol hint as speculation continues to rumble
And lastly, Santos’ forward Gabriel Barbosa has hinted that he may have played his last game for the club with speculation over the teenager’s future continuing to rumble.
He has been linked with a move to the Premier League over the past few months, and according to reports, we’re interested in him but not prepared to pay the £40m release clause in his contract. Speaking after the club’s 3-1 victory over Ponte Preta on Saturday, he’s quoted as saying the following by the Metro:
“I played as if it was my last game here. Soon you will know something.”