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Football - FA Cup Third Round - Manchester City v Chelsea - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - January 8, 2023 Chelsea's Omari Hutchinson

The 11 Arsenal youth teamers that left in 2022 & how they’re faring

While Arsenal have brought through more top players than most clubs in the world over the years, not everyone makes it from their academy to the first team. 

Doing so is only getting harder with the club spending more and more on big names since Arsene Wenger left to try and establish themselves as one of the world’s best again.

Here’s what’s happened to the youth players that were moved on last summer.

Jordi Osei-Tutu

Osei-Tutu joined the Arsenal academy from Reading in 2015 and had loan spells at Bochum, Cardiff, Nottingham Forest and Rotherham before being released in June last year.

Bochum then decided to bring him back on a permanent basis and he’s since made 14 appearances in the Bundesliga, playing his part in their successful battle to avoid relegation last term.

Daniel Ballard

After joining the Gunners youth setup in 2019, Ballard played on loan for Swindon, Blackpool and Millwall before signing for Sunderland on a free transfer last summer, never making a senior appearance for his first club.

The defender has made a decent start to life in the North East, starting 24 matches for the Black Cats, including last season’s play-off semi-final. He’s also a regular for Northern Ireland.

Jonathan Dinzeyi

Dinzeyi was released from the Tottenham academy in 2020 and was snapped up by Arsenal a month later.

His stay at the club wouldn’t be a long one though with him spending the first half of the 2021/22 season on loan at Carlisle, making just three appearances, before being let go by the Premier League leaders in July.

He has yet to find a new club since then, remaining a free agent.

Joel Lopez

Lopez followed in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas when he left La Masia for Arsenal in 2018, but he didn’t enjoy the same success as his compatriot in North London, never playing for the senior side.

He’s now at third-tier Spanish side RC Celta Fortuna.

Jordan McEneff

McEneff left boyhood club Derry for Arsenal in 2016 but returned to the Irish side on a free transfer last summer following a short loan spell with league rivals Shelbourne.

He’s scored seven times in 23 league appearances this year and also played in two Europa Conference League qualifiers for the Irish side.

Luigi Gaspar

Son of former Arsenal player and current Technical Director Edu, Gaspar was released in July after joining from Brazilian side Corinthians in 2019 but has since remained in London, signing for Watford.

Did he choose to leave or was his dad absolutely ruthless and let him go? It’s unclear, but for the sake of the family, we hope it was the former.

Remy Mitchell

Starting his footballing career at Arsenal, Mitchell was the first-choice goalkeeper for their U18s side last season and wore the captain’s armband at times, but joined Swansea on a free transfer at the end of it.

Part of the appeal of such a move was the opportunity to live away from home for the first time in his life.

“It’s a new experience for me, it’s the first time I’ve moved away from Arsenal and I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me,” he said after joining the Welsh club.

“I’ve never lived away from home so that will be a new experience which I’m looking forward to, and I think I’ll relish it.”

He’s yet to make his first-team debut.

Zak Swanson

Swanson joined Arsenal when he was just six years old and signed a professional contract in 2019. A chance in the first team never followed, but Portsmouth saw enough in him to sign him at the start of the current campaign.

He’s made 25 appearances for the League One side in his first season there, scoring twice.

Omari Hutchinson

Hutchinson has seen plenty of London in the first few years of his career, moving from Chelsea to Charlton in 2012 and from Charlton to Arsenal in 2015, taking a year off just before that to play futsal with friends.

He was included in the Gunners’ senior squad for their FA Cup clash with Nottingham Forest at the start of 2022 but didn’t make his debut that day and ultimately never would, with Chelsea deciding to bring him back in the summer.

The 19-year-old, who has gone viral on YouTube for freestyle tricks, is highly rated by many and made his professional debut in January, coming on against Manchester City in the FA Cup.

He’ll spend the 2023-24 season on loan at Championship newcomers Ipswich Town.

READ: Omari Hutchinson: Chelsea’s futsal king who captured Pele’s heart

James Olayinka

Arsenal sent Olayinka out on loan to Northampton and Southend before selling him to League One side Cheltenham Town last September.

He made 28 appearances for the club last season, but will be hoping to improve on his tally of one goal for the Robins.

Harry Clarke

Clarke returned to his roots this January, signing for Ipswich – the first club of his career – after spending the first half of last season on loan at Stoke.

He made 20 appearances as the Tractor Boys romped to the League One title and will play a crucial role in Ipswich’s first second-tier season since 2018-19.


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