10 of Arsenal’s academy setup trained with the club’s first team ahead of the final Premier League game of the season on Sunday.
With the academy season done and dusted, many of Arsenal’s youngsters have already begun their summer holidays. But for a select few, this week has provided a chance for them to train with the first team.
It was no surprise to see Folarin Balogun and Miguel Azeez among the senior players on Friday, as that’s become a common occurrence lately. Omar Rekik has also spent quite a few sessions with the first team recently, and he was involved again.
For many of the others, it was more of a bonus to join Mikel Arteta’s sessions. Jack Henry-Francis, Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, Jonathan Dinzeyi, George Lewis, Mazeed Ogungbo, and Alex Kirk all took part as well.
Finally, Marcelo Flores has reportedly spent the entire week with the first team, ahead of a likely promotion to the u23 squad next season. The 17-year-old was one of the stars of the u18s this season, and it’s good to see that progress rewarded.
Whether any of them will actually be involved in the squad to face Brighton is another matter. After all, there’s quite a lot riding on this game, with one final chance to qualify for Europe – albeit the UEFA Europa Conference League.
As much as the fans have complained about the prospect of being in the Conference League, the youth players will almost certainly benefit from a group stage against lesser opposition. So for the above 10 players, it’s best Arteta goes strong against Brighton.