What does the future hold for Arsenal youngsters? (Part II)

In this series, we take a look at where we expect the batch of Hale End starlets to end up this season. Part one discussed Charlie Patino, Karl Hein & Miguel Azeez and is available here.

Brooke Norton-Cuffy

The surprise inclusion in Arsenal’s US tour squad was defender Reuell Walters.

You would have thought if the club were taking an extra right back, it would be Norton-Cuffy. The only logical explanation is Walters is going as central defensive cover rather than as a full-back.

Norton-Cuffy is an extremely exciting young man.

I recently blogged that it was his talent that was keeping Cedric Soares at the club. He could have a huge future at Arsenal but is still very much a rough diamond.

He spent the second half of last season on loan in League One at Lincoln City. He looked physically and technically ready to play at a high level.

What he now needs is to get a full season of senior football under his belt.

My hope was that following the departure of Djed Spence, Nottingham Forest would look at Norton-Cuffy as a like-for-like replacement. They opted to sign Neco Williams instead.

Norton-Cuffy was also the reason why I we were never in the race for Spence – why spend £20million when we have someone with the same talent and without the ego in the squad?

Norton-Cuffy is read to play a full season in the Championship. He could even be ready to play for a lower Premier League team.

I can definitely see him starting week in week out for Crystal Palace. Loan to Crystal Palace

Matt Smith

Matt Smith will one day become a footballing quiz question.

“In 2020, what player won an FA Cup winners medal with Arsenal but would never actually play a game for the club?”

Harlow born Smith got his chance at the club during Covid.

He was called up to train with the first team and would be on the bench for every game following the return of football after its suspension. This would include the FA Cup victory. Smith would never play a minute.

Smith then spent the first half of the 2020/21 season on loan at Swindon Town in League One before joining Charlton in the same division for the second half of the season.

Last year he played 43 league games for Doncaster Rovers – also in League One. Doncaster were relegated.

Smith turns 22 in October and with so many younger, more talented midfielders at Arsenal, his time at the club is probably up. SELL.

Salah-Eddine Oulad ‘m Hand

Back in March, Jack Wilshere was asked who the most exciting academy graduates were at Halen End.

The first name he mentioned was Charlie Patino; Not a surprise considering the pair have been compared.

He then went on to say “there are other players out there, there’s a boy called Salah who is really good coming through. There’s a lot of players in that group who are technically very, very good.”

Wilshere was talking about the box-to-box midfielder Salah-Eddine Oulad M’Hand, who had been lighting up Arsenal’s U23 side last season.

The Dutch youth international, 18, moved to North London in 2020, after he was released by Feyenoord

He suffered a fractured ankle shortly after joining the club which would see him be ruled out for a year.

On his return he quickly established himself as one of the teams most important players and was included in the senior squad for the League Cup clash against Leeds United.

Arteta has recently praised his attitude in training and he is clearly someone that the club think highly of.

Having missed nearly a year of football, I think he will remain at the club for the next 12 months. He will continue to star in the PL2 and EFL Trophy, as well as get a run out in League Cup and Europa League games.

With Charlie Patino expected to spend more time in and around the senior squad, he will become the main man of the PL2 team

There will be questions about whether he has the physical attributes to make it as a Premier League footballer. But with his hard work and natural technique he certainly has a chance. PL2



1 thought on “What does the future hold for Arsenal youngsters? (Part II)

  1. hans andersson

    Championship material most of them. Hardly Champions League anyway. Not even EPL. Bukayo Saka is one in, if not a million, so in several thousand.



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