Edward Nketiah scored his 8th goal of the U18 Barclays Premier League season in a slender 1-0 victory for Kwame Ampadu’s side at home against Norwich.
After a forgetful 5-1 defeat at the hands of Reading last weekend, the u18s got back to winning ways in a similar vein to that of their older counterparts under Steve Gatting’s tutelage in the u23s.
Nketiah started in attack alongside Donyell Malen, who has shown his talent in bursts of brilliance since his move to north London at the start of this year.
João Virgínia kept his second clean sheet of the campaign with talented u16 goalkeeper, Arthur Okonkwo, watching on from the sidelines as Arsenal’s future prospects were ever-present.
Trae Coyle was surprisingly left on the substitutes’ bench, the 15-year-old midfielder would’ve expected to feature in some capacity having impressed in matches for both the u18 and u19 squads recently.
Marcus McGuane started and completed the full 90 minutes as his development continues through the various ranks. Playing alongside Josh DaSilva in a central midfield role, the 17-year-old will take inspiration from teammates Reiss Nelson (16) and Vlad Dragomir (17), who have emerged and integrated into the u23 squad well at a young age – something he was expected to do this term, but hasn’t had much opportunity to given players like Ismael Bennacer (18) and Gedion Zelalem (19) have established themselves as mainstays in his position.
The result leaves Arsenal’s u18 side in 2nd place, two points off current leaders West Ham with ten matches played. Mark Phillips’ side won 2-1 away against Aston Villa in one of Saturday’s other fixtures, whilst Chelsea and Reading were both also winners against Leicester and Swansea City respectively.
Next up for the u18s is a real six-pointer, as they face none other than league leaders West Ham themselves next weekend.