With pre-season underway, Arsenal have assigned new squad numbers to Arsenal’s u23 players ahead of the upcoming campaign.
As you may be aware, Arsenal have a system with their first-team squad numbers. From one to 35 is open season for the senior players, and they can select whichever number they want, but only within that range.
From 36 onwards, numbers are assigned to the u23s in alphabetical order. However, there are a few free numbers right now, due to various departures and loans.
Twitter user Mickey Bank figured them all out, let’s take a look at the list and what it tells us.
- 36. Tim Akinola
- 37. Ryan Alebiosu
- 38. Miguel Azeez
- 39. Daniel Ballard (on loan with Millwall)
- 40. Tolaji Bola
- 41. Nathan Butler-Oyedeji
- 42. Catalin Cirjan
- 43. Harry Clarke
- 44. Ben Cottrell
- 45. Unused – Belonged to Trae Coyle before his departure
- 46. Jonathan Dinzeyi
- 47. Ovie Ejeheri
- 48. Hubert Graczyk
- 49. Karl Hein
- 50. James Hillson
- 51. Joel Ideho
- 52. Dejan Iliev
- 53. Tyreece John-Jules
- 54. Alex Kirk
- 55. George Lewis
- 56. Joel Lopez
- 57. Jordan McEneff
- 58. Unused – Belonged to Mark McGuinness before his departure
- 59. Unused – Belonged to Zech Medley before his departure
- 60. Nikolaj Moller
- 61. Mazeed Ogungbo
- 62. Unused – Belonged to Arthur Okonkwo before his promotion
- 63. James Olayinka
- 64. Jordi Osei-Tutu
- 65. Salah-Eddine Oulad M’Hand
- 66. Omar Rekik
- 67. Matt Smith (on loan with Doncaster Rovers)
- 68. Tom Smith
- 69. Zak Swanson
- 70. Kido Taylor-Hart
For a start, this list confirms that Folarin Balogun has been officially promoted to the first team. We already effectively knew this when he was wearing 26 in training, but some youth players have been wearing the wrong numbers in training, so this is confirmation.
As you can see, following the departures, there’s room for any new u23 signings to take 45, 58, 59, or 62, as well as any other numbers that become free later.
To clarify, if a new signing joins and doesn’t fit in the order alphabetically, they’ll just take one of the spare numbers, Arsenal won’t move every other player just to make the new signing fit in correctly.
Another interesting takeaway is that the list tells us Arthur Okonkwo and Arsenal hadn’t made an official decision on his future by July 1st, hence he initially received an u23 number.
In the same way, other players with no official confirmation on their future have been assigned numbers in the meantime, including the out-of-contract Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, Ovie Ejeheri, and Kido Taylor-Hart (who is expected to sign).