Afobe, Jonkers and academy offer Arsenal fantastic future!!

Ever since taking over as manager of Arsenal 18 years ago, Arsene Wenger has made the development of young players at the club one of his main priorities. And it has paid off a number of times with players like Fabregas and Wilshere, while it has also given the Gunners and Wenger a great reputation.

Now the man in charge of the academy system is the Dutchman Andries Jonker, who worked under the Man United manager Louis van Gaal at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He was brought in after Liam Brady decided to retire and Jonkers is charged with bringing out youth development in line with other countries in Europe like Holland and Spain, where they are years ahead of England. He is rated as one of the best in the world and so we can look forward to great things from him.

But looking at the current academy teams, both under 21s and under 18s, the Gunners could soon have some more quality youngsters breaking through. There are the two defenders who played against Southampton last night, Hayden and Bellerin, along with midfield talent like Zelalem, Olsson and Crowley. But is is up front where I think the next real star might emerge.

Benik Afobe is going goal mad in his season long loan deal at MK Dons, scoring both of their goals as they progressed to the 4th round of the cup. That makes nine goals in 10 games for the Dons and if he keeps it up, he will return to Arsenal ready to make the step up. Also, his loan deal has left more opportunity for Chuba Akpom in the reserves and Akpom has also found his form in front of goal, which earned him a cameo at the Emirates last night.

So Arsenal fans, the future is bright, the future is red and white.

Tags Akpom Bellerin Hayden


  1. Greg says:

    Benik afobe and chuba akpom has a bright future ahead and will only improve as time goes! They will get their time to shine! Coyg!

    1. atid says:

      Missed out mavididi and hinds who are both great goals scorers too, at u18/19 levels.

      We should take a leaf out of Chelseas book. Any player not eligible for champions youth league or below, is either in the first team squad or sent out on loan.

      Especially now we are out of the cap 1 cup, we will have around 20 lads with no chance of first team football nor champions youth league, and only 5 u21 matches left until the January window opens.

      for example, how many matches will martinez, macey and iliev play between now and January?

      When you consider we also have josh vickers, who can play u21 and u18 (as an overage player) plus Ryan huddart and hugo keto who can play champions youth league and u18, we may as well loan out at least 2 keepers if not 3, but only till January so that we can call back if required.

      1. kevinazyu says:

        i think Mavidid has 7 goals in 4 games this season (u18) thats really impressive

  2. Greg says:

    Our academy is in good hands with mr andries jonker who has a great track record and reputation for turning out and getting the best out of young talent! Our future i must say looks bright with him at the helm! Coyg!

  3. cheeterspotter says:

    Future is always bright at the Arsenal, it’s the bloody here and now that’s the problem.

    1. mohawk says:

      Bingo. Perfectly stated.

    2. Jimbeam says:

      Hahahahaha!!! I love it, couldn’t have said it better…

  4. mohawk says:

    I can appreciate the optimism but………. Wenger is still in denial about the problems with the 1st team. His latest obfuscation was to cast off fan/pundit complaints about the lack of a DM.

    Wenger now claims to have SOLVED the DM problem. Several years ago he claimed that Arteta was the solution. Last season Flamini was the solution. Now he claims DIABY is the solution.

    Now forget the fact that Diaby is out injured 98% of the time. But he has also never shown that he is a DM – more of a box to box player like Ramsey. And regardless of what you think of his performance on tuesday, he certainly did not protect the defense like a DM would.

    This is more of Wenger kicking the can down the road instead of actually addressing the problem for what it is. He is in complete denial over the DM issue. The entire world has recognized the DM issue as Arsenal’s biggest shortcoming – and still Wenger is not willing to accept this reality that dares to disturb his delusion.

    Have a nice day.

    1. GoonerG1 says:

      I share your frustration re: CDM but Wenger did not claim to solve the CDM problem with Diaby. He only explained that he thinks Diaby can play there. Given that we cannot sign anyone before January, I would like to see Diaby play CDM instead of Arteta in PL games. He probably cannot stay healthy but, if he can, he will surely be a better CDM than Arteta (he’s 10 times more athletic, has a lot more pace and is just as good with the ball at his feet). Not a permanent solution but a potential short term improvement.

      1. mohawk says:

        I read his words. He made it very clear that putting Diaby at DM resolved the issue.

        If he plans to get a DM in Jan, fine. Then say so. And putting another non-DM in the DM slot is plainly kicking the can down the road and living in denial.

        Don’t get me wrong. I have never called for Wenger to go. I support him and like him. But that does not mean I have to fool myself just because Wenger is trying to fool himself on the issue.

        Tell me ONE person who thinks Arsenal do not need a DM (except Wenger), just ONE. He does not exist.

  5. SUNNY13 says:

    Yes of course the academy players are very good. But 6 to 7 years ago, all young players were getting many first team opportunity in the form of substitution, CL matches were we already topped the group with couple of group matches to be played, PL matches where we already won like 4-0 score with 30 minutes to go against lesser team, Carling cups etc.
    But last few seasons these players are not getting enough opportunity.
    They are called on only on crisis like injury to other players. That puts tremendous pressure on these young guns . They are also frequently injured. (Ganarby).
    Need to give these youngsters more opportunity.
    That is why I was very disappointed with the Carling cup exit.


    1. mohawk says:

      You make some good points. The glut of attacking midfielders in the squad threatens to restrict the opportunities for the young players.

      Ozil, Cazorla, Rosicky, Diaby, Ox, Walcott, Sanchez, Poldi, Wilshere, Ramsey, Campbell: Reserve players like Gnabry or Zalalem must leapfrog all these players to grab a single opportunity to even make the bench on the 1st team.

      The younger defenders now have a much easier path to the 1st team. For the young strikers, it all depends on Wenger and whether or not he is still having a love affair with Sanogo.

      Wenger has acquired some fantastic players, but he has done a poor job acquiring players for the positions that actually need to be filled.

      The reality is Arsenal have too many CAMs to keep all of them sharp with playing time. Contrastingly Arsenal have no real quality DM, no left winger (that Wenger will actually use), and are in desperate need of CB/def backup.

      1. Jimbeam says:

        Rosicky, Arteta, Podolski, Flamini,Diaby,Coquelin are all for different reasons like age, quality, injury etc. surplus to requirements. Instead of these 6 players, we can get Carvalho and Robiot who are both DM’s and we can have a team where we have two quality and young players in each midfield and attacking position.


        Ofcourse a real quality striker instead of Giroud would be better but i wont hold my breath.

        In defense we will see the quality of Bellerin and Hayden this year due to circumstances, so if they are ready then Bellerin can start deputizing for Debuchy and we would only need one really good defender to add to the team.

        I think Zelalem, Sanogo and Akpom should go out on loan and get a season of first team football under their belts before being eased to the first team, like Afobe is doing this year.

        1. Hafiz Rahman says:


        2. mohawk says:


        3. supertuur says:

          Agree with you 100%. If Afobe keeps scoring like he does we need to offer him a contract and some first team opportunities when he comes back.

          I would love to see a CB that replaces Mertesacker. It means improvement on the field and one the bench. Hummels is the best you can get, better than Kompany.

          I am concerned on the LB side as both Gibbs and Monreal are injury prone and we do not have a good Academy alternative coming through.

          Sell Campbell & Podolski and get a true left winger.

        4. jermaineBryan says:

          I think we should replace those 6 with 3 world class players
          Cb world class

  6. Twig says:

    Afobe and Akpom…. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole? 🙂

    1. Hafiz Rahman says:

      What about Welbeck?

  7. pranavTrue Gooner says:

    Crowley is a fantastic setpiece taker. We need some like him to devolep into first team squad. Hope akpom, afobe will become great arsenal players. I also want sanogo to show what he is capable of. He is a deadly and lethel striker everywhere expect arsenal. That means he has obvious potential. Hope he can realize that.

    1. GoonerG1 says:

      Sanogo needs to go on loan. Hopefully, in January when Giroud comes back. Akpom can perform the role currently played by Sanogo.

  8. Hafiz Rahman says:

    Afobe? Akromp? one of them have to leave… Welbeck is only 23yo

    1. mohawk says:

      Wenger made the decision to drop 1 of the 3 young strikers – he chose to let Aneke go – and keep Afobe and Akpom. Good decision for many reasons. Mostly because you don’t know yet which one will really emerge as top quality.

    2. AYZAY says:

      What the akromp is wrong with u. Lmao

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs