Catalin Cirjan, Bradley Ibrahim, and 16-year-old Myles Lewis-Skelly all joined Khayon Edwards in first-team training with Arsenal on Saturday.
On Saturday afternoon, we reported that 19-year-old striker Khayon Edwards had been called up to the first-team squad for the trip to Leeds United on Sunday. But he wasn’t the only youngster involved in senior training sessions this weekend.
They were joined by 16-year-old Myles Lewis-Skelly, who is one of the standout players in his age group along with recent first-team debutant Ethan Nwaneri. Both Lewis-Skelly and Nwaneri regularly play above their own age group for England.
As it stands, it seems only Edwards has a chance to make the Arsenal squad to face Leeds on Sunday. The Premier League bench is more limited than the Europa League, and Mikel Arteta may also have Gabriel Jesus returning to his side.
But the more players like Cirjan get to play and train in front of Arteta, the better their chances of making an impression and earning his trust when a match opportunity comes around.
In the meantime, it’s also just good practice to be competing with Arsenal’s Premier League side.
Part of the reason why there are so many youngsters involved with the first team at the moment is the lack of youth games this weekend.
With no competitive fixtures, the u18s are playing a friendly match against FC Koln, whilst the u21s seemingly don’t have a game on.
That leaves the youth players available for Arteta to call upon, and in Edwards’ case he’s done just that.