Arsenal have promoted Mehmet Ali to head coach of the u21s, as well as handing him a position as Professional Development Phase lead.

Mehmet Ali (r) after his promotion to u21 head coach alongside new u18 head coach Jack Wilshere (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Mehmet Ali (r) after his promotion to u21 head coach alongside new u18 head coach Jack Wilshere (Photo via Arsenal.com)

Arsenal confirmed on Monday that as well as the addition of Jack Wilshere as u18 head coach, Mehmet Ali will be taking on the role of u21 head coach and Professional Development Phase lead.

Ali was previously working as an assistant for the u23s (which are now the u21s following the Premier League 2’s change in the age restrictions). The former Reading u23 manager joined Arsenal in January.

Former u18 assistant coach Max Porter will join Ali as the new u21 assistant coach.

“It’s a great honour and privilege to be a part of this club and lead our Under-21s,” Ali said.

“I’ve already had six good months at the club, so I’ve got a sound understanding of the players.

“I’m now really excited and looking forward to continue working with the group and playing my part in developing strong young Gunners.”

Luke Hobbs, Jack Wilshere, Mehmet Ali, and Per Mertesacker (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Luke Hobbs, Jack Wilshere, Mehmet Ali, and Per Mertesacker (Photo via Arsenal.com)

Arsenal lost a very good u23 coach in Kevin Betsy this summer, with Betsy lured away by the promise of a senior role elsewhere and u18 head coach Dan Micciche joining him.

But with Ali and Wilshere, Arsenal have a couple of exciting replacements. Both men will be taking on the biggest coaching role of their careers so far, so we’ll see how things pan out for them.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.