Six members of the Arsenal academy trained with the first team on Tuesday, ahead of the Premier League clash away to Wolves.
Tyreece John-Jules, Eddie Nketiah, Arthur Okonkwo, Julio Pleguezuelo, Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock all took part in Tuesday’s session with the senior side. It was particularly encouraging to see Willock back in training, as the midfielder recently suffered an injury forcing him to miss out on the u23s’ last match against Chelsea.
Eddie Nketiah has a good chance to make the squad for Wolves, with Danny Welbeck still out injured. As for the rest, it’s unlikely we’ll see many of them involved. Bernd Leno and Petr Cech will keep 17-year-old goalkeeper Okonkwo out, whilst Pleguezuelo hasn’t featured in the first team’s defence since October.
John-Jules has Nketiah in front of him, whilst Saka has Iwobi and Mkhitaryan for competition in wide areas.
Willock is probably a better option than some of the first-team midfielders at the moment, but that hasn’t earned him any chances in the last couple of months. Perhaps Mohamed Elneny’s particularly uninspiring performance against Crystal Palace might convince Unai Emery to give the academy youngster a squad place instead though.
Either way, it’s good to see Arsenal’s talented crop of youngsters getting opportunities to test themselves regularly against the senior stars. Hopefully, that will benefit them and the club in the long run.