Alfie Matthews posted a farewell message to Arsenal on Friday, as he leaves the club after 11 years with the academy.
Writing on Instagram on Friday, Alfie Matthews formally confirmed his departure from Arsenal, writing a message to say goodbye to the club.
View this post on Instagram
It is with great sadness today that I say my farewells to @arsenal For the best part of my youth I have been lucky enough to play for Arsenal FC and I have grown as a player and a person. Playing for Arsenal has been a great honour and I have learned a great deal. I have had some amazing opportunities and for that I will always be grateful. It was 11 years ago that I put pen to paper and have never looked back until this day. Today is where I start my new journey. I want to say a massive thank you, to all the staff that have helped me during my time at the club. I also want to say a huge thank you to the teammates I have played alongside over the years. I have made some lifelong friends at the club and I look forward to seeing you all again soon. The memories we have shared over the years will be with me forever. Finally it has been an honour to wear the famous red and white shirt, and I will truly miss you all.
The 18-year-old was on an ‘excess period’ with Arsenal after his contract came to an end this summer. But it was always likely that period would result in his departure.
Matthews is seemingly still on trial with the Crystal Palace u23s at the moment. He posted on Instagram that he “can’t wait to announce” his “new club”, but we have no official details right now. He played another friendly match for them on Saturday.
The young forward scored five goals and assisted one in 15 u18 PL games last season. He was on a good run of form pre-lockdown, notching four of those goal contributions in his last six games.
The timing of his departure is certainly going to make things interesting at youth level this season. Tyreece John-Jules is closing in on a loan, Folarin Balogun is likely to leave permanently, as Sam Greenwood already has.
With Matthews leaving as well, Arsenal are looking at starting Luke Plange (17) or Khayon Edwards (16) up front for the u23s in 2020/21.