Arsenal academy update: Robbie Burton shows quality as Reiss Nelson continues to impress on loan

Reiss Nelson
Freddie Ljungberg's Under-23s are going well, the Under-18s are riding high at the top of the league, while Nelson is flourishing at Hoffenheim

Arsenal are one of the few top-six Premier League clubs to give youth a chance in recent years. 

Alex Iwobi, Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are among those to who have established themselves in the first team over the past few seasons.

With former Gunners captain Per Mertesacker leading the academy and Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg managing the Under-23s, there is considerable optimism around Hale End that the young guns can showcase their credentials on a consistent basis this season.

Goalkeeper Matt Macey will spend the season on loan at League One side Plymouth Argyle, while highly-rated defensive midfielder Krystian Bielik is also impressing at Charlton.

Elsewhere, Nigeria youngster Kelechi Nwakali recently received his first call up to the national team and is spending the 2018-19 campaign at Porto.

Below, Goal takes a look at Arsenal's current standout performers at Under-23 and Under-18 level...


Robbie Burton

Freddie Ljungberg's side were without Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah for their match against Leicester, but they still managed to beat a strong Foxes side 2-1, with Robbie Burton playing a starring role.

Wales youth starlet Burton assisted Tobi Omole for the opener before scoring the winner from the penalty spot against a side containing the likes of Caglar Soyuncu and Andy King.

Omole is a versatile defender who played in midfield against Leicester, while Trae Coyle is also impressing with his exciting performances as an attacking midfielder.

Ljungberg's team also secured a goalless draw against Blackburn despite going down to 10 men after Charlie Gilmour was sent off for kicking out​ at Lewis Travis in the first half.

Gedion Zelalem, Cohen Bramall, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Ben Sheaf and Xavier Amaechi are all currently out injured.


Kwame Ampadu

Kwame Ampadu's side dominated against Norwich as they beat the Canaries 5-1 in the U18 Premier League.

Summer signing Sam Greenwood netted a brace, as did Trae Coyle, while Harry Clarke also got his name on the scoresheet.

Meanwhile, the 16-year-old Stan Flaherty came off the bench to score the winner as the under-18s beat West Ham at London Colney.

Folarin Balogun netted the opener before Ajibola Alese levelled for the Hammers shortly after the break, but it was Flaherty's header which sealed the win and sees Ampadu's side sit top of the league.

Elsewhere, the Gunners were held to a goalless draw against West Brom in their opening Premier League Cup group-stage game, with goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo making a number of impressive saves to earn his side a point.

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Reiss Nelson Hoffenheim

Reiss Nelson continued his impressive form for Hoffenheim as he scored his second goal of the season in a 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Nelson scored a late volley in the 82nd minute but it wasn't enough to prevent Hoffenheim from losing the match after goals from Ante Rebic and Luka Jovic.

Also in Germany, Japanese international Takuma Asano came off injured on 14 minutes as Hannover beat Stuttgart 3-1 on Saturday, while back in England, Matt Macey kept a clean sheet as Plymouth beat AFC Wimbledon 1-0 in League One.

Krystian Bielik was an unused substitute as Charlton lost 2-1 to Coventry but Calum Chambers was ineligible to face his parent club as Arsenal thrashed Fulham 5-1 at Craven Cottage.

Finally, in Italy, David Ospina kept a clean sheet as Napoli beat Sassuolo 2-0 on Sunday. The Colombian made a number of fine stops to keep the opposition at bay, as Adam Ounas and Lorenzo Insigne scored the goals for Carlo Ancelotti's side.