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Who are the Arsenal Youngsters In Dubai

By Matt Sadler
March 23 2019

An Arsenal squad has flown to Dubai for warm weather training and a friendly match during the international break. As a number of first team players and more established youngsters are away on international duty, some well known and lesser-known youth players have made up the numbers.

Some of the more familiar youngsters include Julio Pleguezuelo (though at 22 is he really a "youngster" at this point?), Ben Sheaf, Jordi Osei-Tutu and Zech Medley.

Who are the others?

Charlie Gilmour

20 year old Brighton-born central midfielder Gilmour joined our academy as a 6 year old. He is capped by Scotland at U15, 16, 17 and 19 level, as well as England at U16 and 17 level. He is a good passer and regular penalty taker. This season he has made two substitute appearances for the first team in the Europa League, while playing regularly at U23 level and during our EFL Trophy run.

Dominic Thompson

Another Hale End product, 18 year old Thompson is primarily a left back but can also play left wing and I bizarrely saw him recently playing as an attacking midfielder for our U23s (didn't play that well but had an excellent engine). He has been called up to train with our first team a number of times this season when first team players have been missing due to injury.

James Olayinka

18 year old Hale End product Olayinka has been with us since he was 7 and is able to play a number of midfield roles. He started as a winger but now describes himself as a "box-to-box attacking midfielder, similar in style to Aaron Ramsey". His strong points are his stamina, determination and anticipation, while his defensive work and finishing are areas to improve.

Xavier Amaechi

18 year old right footed left winger Amaechi joined us as a 12 year old. He is powerful and possesses great pace, so much so, in fact, that there's a good chance he could be one of our fastest players. He missed a large chunk of this season with injury but has been in excellent form for our second string since returning. He has apparently been scouted by Bayern Munich. He was withdrawn from the England U18 squad to take part.

Tyreece John-Jules

18 year old John-Jules joined us as an 8 year old after being spotted playing for Charlton. He primarily plays upfront but can also play out wide or off the striker. I've seen him quite a few times for our second string and have been impressed by his finishing ability, his work rate and impressive fitness levels, and his movement. He is an intelligent player. His uncle plays the Cat in Red Dwarf. He was withdrawn from the England U18 squad to take part.

Arthur Okonkwo

The youngest in the squad, 17 year old Okonkwo is a highly rated goalkeeper who has come up through our Hale End academy. He was being linked with moves to Celtic and RB Leipzig prior to signing professional terms with us, eventually signing in September 2018. You may have notice in the picture he is a giant, standing at 6' 5.

Squad in full:

Bern Leno, Petr Cech, Arthur Okonkwo, Carl Jenkinson, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Zech Medley, Julio Pleguezuelo, Ben Sheaf, Dominic Thompson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Charlie Gilmour, James Olayinka, Xavier Amaechi, Mesut Ozil, Denis Suarez, Alexandre Lacazette, Tyreece John-Jules.

Injured trio Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck have all made the journey as well.

Nacho Monreal misses out as a minor injury precauution.

MORE ON STORY HERE

 

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