Arsenal youth roundup

This Arsenal youth roundup sees Arsenal u23s lose to their Manchester City counterparts 2-0 but that wasn’t the only thing to happen in the Arsenal youth world this as you can read below.

Arsenal youth roundup - Omari Hutchinson with the Arsenal u18s (Photo via Hutchinson on Instagram)
Arsenal youth roundup – Omari Hutchinson with the Arsenal u18s (Photo via Hutchinson on Instagram)

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Arsenal’s u23s played Manchester City on 19 February, going down 2-0 at Meadow Park.

The u18s played on 20 February and they also lost, being on the wrong side of 3-2 against Brighton. Omari Hutchinson netted both of Arsenal’s goals. The first on the stroke of halftime when the Young Guns were already 2-0 down and then again in the 90th with a penalty to make it 3-2. Ed Turns and a Zac Emerson brace sealed the points for the Seagulls.

Arsenal youth roundup – 17yo Arsenal midfielder announces injury return with goal vs West Ham

Khayon Edwards scored his first goal post-injury on Tuesday, as the Arsenal u18s won the match in injury time against West Ham United.

Khayon Edwards with the Arsenal u18s (Photo via Edwards on Instagram)
Khayon Edwards with the Arsenal u18s (Photo via Edwards on Instagram)

Arsenal hosted West Ham United at London Colney in midweek, in an u18 Premier League fixture.

Although possession was even throughout the match, West Ham had the best of the chances in the first 45 minutes. They had five shots to Arsenal’s three, forcing four saves out of goalkeeper Hubert Graczyk before the break.

The home side grew into the game after the restart, finishing the game with more shots than their opponents, but it took the introduction of a substitute to end the deadlock very late on.

Khayon Edwards recently picked up an injury forcing him out of a couple of games over December and January, and he’s having to fight his way back into the starting lineup since then.

He made a sub appearance against Crystal Palace last time out, and this time he came on with 26 minutes left for summer signing Joel Ideho.

With seconds remaining, Omari Hutchinson curled a free-kick into the box. Edwards found some space before directing a volley in off the post for 1-0.

It was Edwards’ sixth goal contribution in 10 u18 Premier League games, and just five starts at this level. The 17-year-old is certainly making his case for a regular role in the team from now on.

Hutchinson is also impressing, and the late assist was his seventh of the campaign so far. No player in the u18 Premier League has more this season.

As for the team, they’re up to fifth in the table, at least for now. Covid has caused a lot of problems at this level, meaning every single team in the top 10 has either played more games or fewer than Arsenal at this stage.

For example, Arsenal are three points behind Spurs and have a game in hand on their North London rivals. Yet they’re also only two points ahead of Chelsea, who have a game in hand on the Gunners.

It’s hard to say what position the team will actually end up in when everything evens up, so we’re just going to have to take things game by game. A fifth win in the last seven games is certainly helping them in the right direction.

Arsenal youth roundup –Arsenal teenager plays for West Ham against Arsenal

Levi Laing played for West Ham United against Arsenal on Tuesday, as the Gunners’ academy defender undergoes a trial with the Hammers.

Levi Laing playing for the Arsenal u18s (Photo via Laing on Instagram)
Levi Laing playing for the Arsenal u18s (Photo via Laing on Instagram)

Arsenal faced West Ham United u18s on Tuesday, and the young Gunners were up against someone they know well in Levi Laing.

Laing began the season with Arsenal, making six starts in the u18 Premier League before reportedly being informed that he’s unlikely to get a professional contract at the end of the season.

As a result, the defender is searching for a new club, and he’s currently on trial with West Ham. He played 90 minutes at centre-back in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa earlier this month, before making a start against Arsenal.

For a while, it seemed like Laing might help his trial club keep a clean sheet against the Gunners, making it all the way to the 90th minute at 0-0. However, Khayon Edwards scored in injury time to get Arsenal the win.

Still, West Ham can’t be too unhappy with conceding two goals in two games with Laing. They’d only managed to concede less than two goals in a game on one occasion out of 11 attempts in the league before Laing joined.

To go from losing 3-0 to Norwich City, 4-0 to Chelsea, and 6-2 to West Brom to drawing 1-1 with Aston Villa losing 1-0 to Arsenal is at least an improvement defensively.

We should find out soon enough whether West Ham are convinced to take the former Hale End youngster on.

Arsenal youth roundup -Awe-some: Arsenal teenager signs new contract

Arsenal centre-back Zach Awe has signed his first professional contract with the club and joined the Europa League squad list, after recently turning 17.

Zach Awe signing his professional contract (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Zach Awe signing his professional contract (Photo via Arsenal.com)

Arsenal academy defender Zach Awe had his 17th birthday in January, making him eligible for professional terms with the club. They’ve now announced a new deal for him, after adding him to the Europa League squad B-list earlier in the day.

UEFA officially confirmed the updates to Arsenal’s Europa League squad on Monday, with Arsenal adding Awe and six others. You have to have a professional contract to join the list, so this was a clear giveaway that an announcement was imminent.

Awe mostly plays centre-back, but he can also play deep in midfield. This season, he’s been needed more in central defence, so that’s where he’s made all of his appearances.

The youngster made his u23 debut against Blackburn Rovers in November, when he was still 16. He helped them to a clean sheet in a 6-0 victory. That remains his only u23 appearance so far, though he did also make the squad against Chelsea in October.

For the most part, Awe has played for the u18s, making nine appearances and six starts.

The England u16 international is already tall enough to be a senior defender, though, like most players his age, he still has room to bulk up and gain experience at u23 level before making the jump to the first team.

Mikel Arteta probably won’t use the centre-back in a senior squad this season, but Arsenal have him available in case of any defensive emergencies. With the current pandemic going on, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Congratulations to Zach on his progress this season and on his new deal!