Three of Arsenal’s academy players have received senior international call-ups for the upcoming round of fixtures.

Daniel Ballard with Northern Ireland (Photo via Ballard on Twitter)
Daniel Ballard with Northern Ireland (Photo via Ballard on Twitter)

With the European Championships coming up and a couple of European finals this week, it’s been easy to forget that it’s not just the players involved in the Euros who will be playing international matches at the start of next month.

A number of Arsenal players have now been called up for the June international fixtures, including three members of Arsenal’s academy squad.

Unsurprisingly, Karl Hein is in the Estonia squad once again. The 19-year-old goalkeeper made six competitive appearances for his country during the 2020/21 campaign. He was also called up in March but ended up having to isolate after a Covid outbreak.

Daniel Ballard, currently on loan with Blackpool, is also a regular member of the Northern Ireland squad. He’s received another call-up, but he’ll miss their first friendly against Malta for a potential appearance in the League One play-off final at Wembley.

But Omar Rekik’s inclusion in the Tunisia senior squad is a little more unexpected. The centre-back hasn’t made his international debut yet and he hasn’t even played for their u21s for a while.

More than that, it’s surprising because the defender has only played 14 minutes for the Arsenal u23s in total due to injury. He’s fit now, but it’s a great show of faith for Tunisia to call him up without game-time.

From an Arsenal point of view, I certainly have no complaints. This call-up will be a great experience for Rekik and will hopefully prepare him well for pre-season and the upcoming 2021/22 campaign back with his club.