Mertesacker announces a new ‘link between Arsenal academy and first team’

Their have been massive changes in Arsenal’s coaching set up especially in the reserve and youth set up since Per Mertesacker was announced as the new Academy manager, and now the big German has revealed that the Gunners’ reserves will be playing in the Checkatrade trophy for the very first time next season, along with the U21 sides from our great rivals Tottenham, Chelsea, Man City and West Ham.

We all know that our reserves are used to playing in empty stadiums, but this trophy is very important to lots of the lower League sides with the chance of reaching a final at Wembley, and there will be big crowds the further the competition progresses. For instance Chelsea U21’s played in front of 9400 when they got beaten on penalties by the eventual winners Lincoln City.

Our new Academy manager is aware of this and is looking forward to it. Mertesacker said: “We’re pleased to be entering our Under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy this forthcoming season.

“We feel it’s important to provide our young players with a variety of experiences in their development and we certainly felt that by entering the Checkatrade Trophy, the players will face different challenges from strong club sides.

“With many of the players in this age group destined to go on loan soon in their careers, the experiences from this competition can act as a very good link between academy and first team football.”

It will be good for the young players and also good for the young fans who will be able to see our up-and-coming starlets a lot more often and in more exciting circumstances…

This is the full list of invited reserve sides who will play against the League One and League Two sides….

Arsenal; Newcastle; Brighton; Southampton; Chelsea; Stoke; Everton; Swansea; Fulham; Tottenham; Leicester City; Wolves; Manchester City; West Ham; Middlesbrough; West Brom


  1. That is a brilliant idea! It’ll get the academy players used to playing against very physical mature players from the lower divisions. The experience would do them a world of good.

  2. Suddenly, things seem to be on the upswing at Arsenal. Can’t wait to see the results churning out from the pitches.

    1. We have also been making a lot of changes to our academy set up so hopefully, we will see some more quality players coming through our academy. Our academy won’t be on the same level as Barca’s overnight but in 3-4 years I can see our academy gaining significant ground on theirs in terms of quality. Up to the GOONERS!

      1. Further proof that the BFG is totally committed to his position within the club and what an excellent decision by all parties concerned..
        Again I say, congratulations the new regime and the way they are conducting themselves.
        I thought we might have to wait for a few seasons to be able to judge them, but it seems that every day, something positive is happening.
        Long may it continue, the buzz is electrifying at the moment.
        I’m starting to believe that we can make history again!!!

        1. I feel a surprise coming on this season. Not saying we going to win the league because we have to see the set up of the first team but things are starting to kick into gear. Getting deals done early – axing players and staff not worthy of helping the cause. This is going to be the first pre-season I will be excited for in a LONG time.

  3. Torreira confirmed by ferrero (sampdoria,’s President) €30 gelson Martins pls

    1. Gelson Martins is going to be a complicated one but doable. He wants to come to Arsenal obviously but there is so much legal rigmarole with Sporting we just have to wait and see what happens. Uruguayans are known for their bite – thank God Torriera’s one is more of metaphorical one lol

  4. Team list
    Loan holding
    Maitland Niles
    Martins(sell welbeck)

    1. I get the feeling that they may very well move on both Cech and Ospina and bring in another GK but we will wait and see.

  5. This new feeling when the players linked with us are actually coming. #NoMoreDrama#WelcomeLeno

  6. But where on earth is Emi Martinez? Why is nobody talking about him? Has he been having a bad loan spell in Spain? Has he so soon faded out of reckoning after so much promise?

    And he’s so young too.

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