Arsenal boss Unai Emery hails talented young guns as junior gunners progress in FA Youth Cup

PUBLISHED: 23:25 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 23:30 12 December 2018

Arsenal manager Unai Emery (pic John Walton/PA)

Arsenal manager Unai Emery (pic John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been speaking to the Islington Gazette about the club’s talented young guns led by U23 and U21 boss Freddie Ljungberg and the U18s led by Ken Gillard. Read on for what he told Layth Yousif at London Colney.

Gillard’s U18s eased past Northampton U18s 2-0 to reach the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday evening after Emery spoke about the promising junior gunners earlier in the day at the club’s training ground London Colney.

Goals from Fol Balogun and Zak Swanson saw Gillard’s side beat the dogged challenge of the young Cobblers on a cold evening at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park – while Ljungberg’s U23s sit in second place in Premier League 2 two points behind leaders Derby.

In response to a question from the Gazette asking his views on the side’s below the first team Emery spoke glowingly about the club’s academy stars.

He said: “I want to look at every player with us. I usually speak a lot with Freddie to get his impression about th”e players.

“I am very happy when they are with us because they have great spirit when they work with us. For example their good behaviour and good performance, Willock, Nketiah, Smith Rowe, but now he has one injury so can’t play [against Qarabag]

“But it’s not the name. We need to take and we need to be with young players, these responsibilities to help them help us - but with a very big demand on our performance.”

Arsenal Invincible Ljungberg’s U21 side showed character to qualify from a tough group in the Checkatrade Trophy including wins at League One side Coventry City and League Two promotion contenders Forest Green Rovers.

Although they were eventually knocked out by third tier side Portsmouth at Fratton Park last week, the Swede’s youngsters will have gained essential experience playing against hardened professional footballers.

WIth the first team set to host FK Qarabag at the Emirates on Thursday evening Emery revealed a number of the club’s gilded youth would be in the frame to be selected for the squad with Arsenal already haing sealed top spot.

Emery added: “At the moment we have been working with a lot of players in the U23s from pre-season and now...they are in the group also [against Qarabag].”

Follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter for his in-depth coverage on all aspects of the club from the first team through to the U23s, U21s, U18s, women’s and amputee sides.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Islington Gazette