Search

All Guns Blazing: Promising duo could avoid worrying fate of recent Arsenal academy graduates

PUBLISHED: 12:33 21 January 2015

Chris Willock, Arsenal. Picture: John Walton/PA

Chris Willock, Arsenal. Picture: John Walton/PA

EMPICS Sport

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, youth blogger Jeorge Bird picks out two stars of Arsenal’s academy, Chris Willock and Tyrell Robinson

It is becoming increasingly difficult for youngsters to make the grade at top clubs, but when a player features for the first team at just 16 years of age, they can be deemed to have a good chance of succeeding in the long term.

That was the honour bestowed upon Chris Willock, who started for the senior side in their pre-season friendly against Boreham Wood last summer just weeks after signing his first scholarship contract.

Arsenal had faced an anxious wait to see whether Willock would stay at the club, with speculation that he would move to Manchester United, where his older brother Matt plays.

However, Willock elected to remain in north London and has enjoyed an impressive season so far, with his confidence no doubt boosted by his first-team excursion.

Capable of playing on either flank, but most comfortable in an advanced midfield position, Willock isn’t a frequent scorer but his game focuses more on creating chances for others.

He is still rather slight physically, but has already made his debut for the Under-21s this season in addition to featuring prominently in Arsenal’s UEFA Youth League campaign.

Another worth keeping an eye on is Tyrell Robinson, who recently signed his first professional contract with the club.

A product of Arsenal’s Hale End academy, Robinson is usually deployed as a left-winger and uses his pace and strength to navigate his way past defenders. He has seen his stock rise further of late after an injury crisis meant that he received an unexpectedly early call-up to the Under-21 team as a left-back.

He was excellent in that position in the victory over Brighton & Hove Albion before Christmas as he won the ball back well and also set up a goal for striker Chuba Akpom. The following day, as a reward for his development, he trained with the first-team squad.

Both Willock and Robinson are likely to be in the squad when Arsenal travel to Atletico Madrid for their single-legged last 16 UEFA Youth League tie later this month.

It was in Spain, against the might of Barcelona, that Arsenal’s chances of winning this competition unravelled last season, so the young Gunners, albeit with a much changed team on this occasion, will be hoping that a similar defeat doesn’t befall them this year.

Follow me @jeorgebird

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 09:37

Islington and Camden’s two District Primary School teams played out a pulsating semi-final in the Kay Trophy at Chase Lodge – with Islington just getting through on penalties.

Wed, 08:29

Return to action after surgery leads to podiums

Wed, 06:00

Islington Boxing Club picked up two victories on an Eastgate ABC dinner show held at the Debenham Leisure Centre in Stowmarket.

Tue, 13:39

The nine-year-old boy from Islington who wowed people last year by conquering three of cycling’s most feared climbs is gearing up for another adventure – and this time his sister is coming along for the ride.

Mon, 16:30

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies saw their 27-game undefeated run come to an end with a valiant 10-0 defeat to north London rivals Arsenal but Karen Hills’ outfit can take plenty of pride away from the encounter.

Mon, 13:26

Alan Higgins will feel unlucky after losing his Southern Area Super-Middleweight title in a superb contest with Criag Richards.

Mon, 07:53

Gunners slip to sixth following West Brom defeat

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Arsenal’s star forward Alexis Sanchez may have ankle ligament damage after under-fire boss Arsene Wenger admitted the Chilean overruled him in staying on the pitch during their dreadful 3-1 defeat at West Brom today.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now