A couple of Arsenal academy players featured for Brentford and Manchester United this week, with one providing an assist for their late equalising goal.
Brentford has become a prime destination for Arsenal academy players set on leaving the Gunners in recent years. Just this summer we’ve seen Daniel Oyegoke make the switch, and Josh Dasilva has been a key part of Brentford’s team in recent years.
But it was two other former Arsenal youngsters getting a chance in a friendly against Manchester United earlier this week. First up was Dominic Thompson, who started the match.
Fans may remember Thompson from that pre-season where he set up Gabriel Martinelli’s debut friendly goal, before leaving for Brentford soon after.
The left-back is still pushing to break into Brentford’s team, spending the second half of last season on loan with Swindon Town. But he’s been involved in a couple of pre-season games already and the signs look good ahead of the new campaign.
With 15 minutes to go, Finley Stevens got a chance to come on. Stevens was released by Arsenal as a 16-year-old, dropped down to non-league football with Worthing, but managed to earn a move back up to Brentford last summer.
Now 18, the young right-back is a Wales u21 international and he’s made five appearances (two starts) for Brentford’s first team. He made his mark quickly against United, setting up Bryan Mbeumo’s equaliser within two minutes of coming on.
It wasn’t the most difficult of assists, a long ball down the touchline that Mbeumo made the best of, but it was still a big moment for the youngster. Hopefully, he and Thompson get further chances in the Premier League this season.