A round-up of all the latest news and gossip surrounding Arsenal’s youth ranks.
Academy coach set to join
Crystal Palace’s u18 head coach Ken Gillard is set to join Arsenal as part of the our academy staff, according to an exclusive report published today. The former Republic of Ireland u21 international, who had been with the Eagles for four years, has impressed since taking charge of their u18 side in 2014.
Having helped the youngsters achieve a third-place finish in his first full season, he has been influential in helping a number of talented players develop as they mature. Although he’s not yet listed as an official member of staff on the website, it is believed that he will take up a role as assistant to Kwame Ampadu’s managerial role with the u18 side.
UEFA Youth League fixture rescheduled
As a result of TV selection on UEFA.tv and presumably BT Sport, Arsenal’s u19 side will play their home fixture against group leaders PSG on Wednesday, 23 November. Kick-off time is scheduled for a 1pm (UK) start.
With five points out of a possible 16 thus far, Andries Jonker’s youngsters have plenty left to do if they’re to secure qualification from their group with two games remaining.
Fortune injury update
Yassin Fortune has unfortunately sustained a recurrence of the hip injury that disrupted his pre-season preparations and has reduced him to only one appearance this term: a brief cameo during the u18’s 1-1 draw with Fulham in October.
According to JeorgeBird, the 17-year-old forward could be sidelined for another six weeks with his latest injury.
There are seven Arsenal players across three age groups that have been chosen by their respective coaches to represent England on international duty in the coming weeks ahead.
u18s: Tolaji Bola, Marcus McGuane and Reiss Nelson.
u19s: Chris Willock and Stephy Mavididi.
u20s: Tafari Moore (on-loan at FC Utrecht) and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated with their performances during the upcoming international break.
PSV’s Belgian wonderkid linked
According to a recent report, Arsenal are interested in securing the services of Belgian wonderkid Matthias Verreth.
The 18-year-old winger, who is also being tracked by Serie A side AC Milan, has drawn comparisons to Napoli’s Dries Mertens with his playing style.
Verreth’s current contract runs until 2019, and there’s also an option to extend it for another year but as he continues to improve it’ll be increasingly hard to ignore advances away from the Netherlands.
You can read more about Arsenal scouting Matthias Verreth here.