Tolaji Bola and Zech Medley both trained with the Arsenal first-team on Wednesday, amid Mikel Arteta’s left-back shortage.
Arsenal youth defenders Zech Medley and Tolaji Bola both joined first-team training on Wednesday, ahead of the Europa League visit from Olympiacos.
Medley is a centre-back, but he also has quite a lot of experience playing left-back at youth level. The 19-year-old even briefly featured in the position for the senior side under Unai Emery last season against Blackpool.
Bola is a left-back, though he’s still waiting on his first-team debut. He made the squad against Nottingham Forest earlier in the season.
Arsenal are temporarily very low on left-backs. Kieran Tierney isn’t quite back, nor is Cedric Soares – who can fill in there. Sead Kolasinac is now out as well, only leaving Bukayo Saka before we really have to get creative.
The likes of Granit Xhaka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles could play the position if absolutely necessary. It seems like a good chance to give Bola or Medley a game though.
Not against Olympiacos, that’s too important for a debut. Saka should start that match. But against Portsmouth in the FA Cup, Saka needs a rest and one of the other two could take his place.
After that, Saka can play against West Ham and we’ve bought ourselves until at least March 12th for Tierney or Cedric to return.
In addition to Bola and Medley, Folarin Balogun and Matt Smith also joined first-team training. The duo are two of the stars of the current u23 team, so that’s no surprise.