Nelson, Willock, Cedric, Smith-Rowe and Saliba all included in heavily experienced Arsenal youth game


Experienced youth

Arsenal’s under 23s played out a 3-3 draw against Manchester United in the Premier league 2 on Saturday.

It is not out of the ordinary for youth games to occur on the same days of that as the senior sides. However, what was unusual was the level of first team experience on display in the Arsenal ranks.

From the line-up, Emile Smith-Rowe, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Cedric all have several appearances for the first team. Cedric being a 29-year-old Premier League and international veteran of the game.

William Saliba was also included in the line-up having been absent for some weeks. Big questions surrounded whether the Frenchman would be sent out on loan. But with the close of the domestic window, Saliba will remain at Arsenal for at least the next three months.

 Loans galore

Chelsea have made a significant effort to send players on loan to get them regular first team experience. Not only with the possibility of integrating into the first team but also to increase their value. Liverpool have seen significant success recently with the sale of Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United for £23.5 million having never played in the Premier League.

Arsenal appear to now be following a similar strategy. 15 players have been sent to get experience in senior sides. The players range from the ages of 19 to 25.

Some first teamers such as Lucas Torreira (Atletico Madrid), Matteo Guendouzi (Hertha Berlin) and Mavropanos (Stuttgart) moved away because opportunities in the first team were not forthcoming. Meanwhile the majority have moved to gain valuable experience with the hope of seeing first team football available soon.

Of the plethora of loan talent the standouts are that of Tyreece John-Jules who has joined Doncaster. Matt Smith, the FA Cup finalist, has joined Swindo. Jordi Osei-Tutu who spent last season in Germany spends the 2020/21 campaign in Cardiff. And finally, Zech Medley, a commanding young centre-back, has moved with fellow Gunner Trae Coyle to Gillingham.

Arsenal will hope these players get the significant game time necessary to develop and of course, raise their value.

See also: Exclusive: “He has the talent to develop into a real top class player.” Former Huddersfield Head of Football Operations heaps praise on Arsenal’s Smith-Rowe

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Everton FC 5 7 13
2 Liverpool FC 5 0 10
3 Aston Villa FC 3 9 9
4 Leicester City FC 4 5 9
5 Arsenal FC 4 3 9
6 Chelsea FC 5 4 8
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 4 7 7
8 Leeds United 4 1 7
9 Newcastle United FC 4 1 7
10 Southampton FC 5 -1 7
11 West Ham United FC 4 4 6
12 Crystal Palace FC 4 -2 6
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4 -3 6
14 Manchester City FC 3 -1 4
15 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4 -2 3
16 Manchester United FC 3 -6 3
17 West Bromwich Albion 4 -8 1
18 Burnley FC 3 -5 0
19 Sheffield United FC 4 -5 0
20 Fulham FC 4 -8 0
Player Team Goals
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 7
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 6
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 6
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 5
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 3
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 3
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 3
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 3
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 3
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 3
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United FC 3
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 2
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 2