Tyreece John-Jules scored a first-half hat-trick for the u18s on Tuesday, in his first start at any level since his recent hamstring injury.

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 30: Tyreece John-Jules of Arsenal U21 walks the pitch prior to kick off during the Checkatrade Trophy match between Cheltenham Town and Arsenal U21 at Whaddon Road on October 30, 2018 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 30: Tyreece John-Jules of Arsenal U21 walks the pitch prior to kick off during the Checkatrade Trophy match between Cheltenham Town and Arsenal U21 at Whaddon Road on October 30, 2018, in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

John-Jules returned from injury earlier this month, and he made a couple of brief substitute appearances in the FA Youth Cup and the Premier League 2 as he looked to rebuild his fitness levels. To continue that process, the 18-year-old was handed his first start on Tuesday, against Leicester City’s u18s.

It didn’t take long for the striker to get on the scoresheet, firing home from the penalty spot in the fourth minute. Leicester’s Connor Barrett was sent off in the incident leading to the spot-kick. John-Jules then doubled the lead 10 minutes later, assisted by Ben Cottrell.

Arsenal’s regular u18 striker Folarin Balogun joined the scoring with a third, set up by Cottrell as well, before assisting John-Jules to make it 4-0 before half-time.

The forward came off in the 63rd minute, with the game already wrapped up. At this stage, it’s still about making sure he doesn’t suffer a recurrence of his hamstring injury.

Still, the hat-trick was a nice bonus to add to his fitness-building exercise. The three goals put John-Jules into double figures for the season, with 10 goals and four assists in 18 appearances.

Tyreece John-Jules

Trae Coyle added a fifth goal, set up by Matthew Smith. Smith has been in great form for the u18s all season, scoring four and assisting nine in 14 league games. Unsurprisingly, that’s earned him a few call-ups to the u23s, which will probably come more regularly over the remainder of 2019.

For now, John-Jules will probably stick with the u18s to continue building his fitness, with a game coming up against Southampton on Saturday. Let’s hope he’s just as impressive in that match.