Arsenal youngsters in line for first-team call up for Slavia Prague clash

The five Arsenal youngsters in line for first-team call up for Slavia Prague clash

Mikel Arteta called up several Hale End academy graduates to first team training ahead of Thursday’s crucial Europa League tie in Prague


ByChris WheatleyArsenal correspondent

  • 18:00, 14 APR 2021
  • UPDATED19:05, 14 APR 2021
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – APRIL 14: Miguel Azeez of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on April 14, 2021 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

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James Hillson

Hillson signed a new contract with Arsenal in January and has usually been the back-up goalkeeper for Arthur Okonkwo and Karl Hein.

The trio have all had spells training with the first team this season but it is a positive sign that the 20-year-old has been included ahead of such a big game.

He will be hoping to make further appearances for the Under-23s next season and the possibility remains of going out on loan to gain experience.Arsenal training ahead of Slavia Prague second leg ARSENAL TRAINING AHEAD OF SLAVIA PRAGUE SECOND LEG

Folarin Balogun

Perhaps the most interesting inclusion in Wednesday morning’s training session was that of Folarin Balogun.Sponsored Link by TaboolaThe Immune System Supplement You Need to Know AboutVitabiotics

The highly-rated forward is on the verge of putting pen-to-paper on a new long-term contract with the club, after initially looking like he would leave upon the expiration of his deal this summer.138266811586

“We are going to make it official when it is official and everything is done, but as I said before, I have always been very positive that he wants to stay at the club. We want him to stay at the club. We are very close.”


“Once you understand the position of him, then [you] try to explain what you want to do, how involved he is going to be in the project and how. Then get the full commitment and support from the club, and Edu – who I think has done an incredible job as well.”

Balogun will be hopeful of travelling with the squad to Prague – although it’s unlikely that he would get game time ahead of Arsenal’s senior forwards at this stage in the season

Miguel Azeez

The 18-year-old has aspirations of breaking into the Arsenal first team and he appears to be edging closer as the season goes on.

Azeez has stood out as an excellent performer for the Under-23’s this campaign having only signed his first professional contract in September 2019.

“I would love to be the best football player in the world,” Azeez said during an interview with Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.

(L-R) Miguel Azeez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during a training session at London Colney. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“I have the attributes, I have the work rate so it’s up to me to keep working hard.138254793220

“I never doubt myself because if you have doubts it’s hard to reach your top potential. My mum and dad have always told me that you need to believe in yourself and to carry on working towards your dream, because nothing is impossible.”

The exciting midfield starlet is likely to be included on the bench for Thursday’s match against Slavia Prague.

Alex Kirk

Kirk is an 18-year-old defender who has featured for the Under-18s and 23s this season.

He signed his first professional contract with the Gunners in January of this year and has often trained with the first team to boost numbers.

Again, it’s a positive sign that Arteta continues to involve Kirk among the senior players and bodes well for the youngster’s future.

Joel Lopez

Previous Arsenal signings from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy include Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin, Fran Merida, Ignasi Miquel and Jon Toral.

Joel Lopez of Arsenal controls the ball during the match between Arsenal U18 and Tottenham Hotspur U18 (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Lopez will want to have a big impact at Arsenal and his opportunity could come sooner rather than later, with the Gunners depleted at left-back.

Kieran Tierney is out for the rest of the season and Arteta has been forced to use Granit Xhaka and right-back Cedric Soares on the left hand side.


You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners.



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Kazan- Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982

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