Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Arsenal Starlet Set To Announce New Club Which Confirms Emirates Exit: A Massive Loss For Arteta?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

Alfie Matthews has confirmed he is leaving Arsenal this summer. The young academy forward has posted a long farewell on Instagram, and it was followed by a story where the youngster said that he “can’t wait” to announce his new club. Matthews has been playing for the Arsenal youth setup for 11 years now, and his departure could serve as a significant blow for the club’s youth department.

Who Is Alfie Matthews?

Matthews joined the Arsenal academy way back in 2009, at the age of just eight. He made his breakthrough into the club’s U-18 setup in 2018 and was recently rewarded for his competent displays with a promotion to the Arsenal reserves this summer.

The youngster notably had an excellent season in the U18 Premier League during the 2019/20 campaign, scoring five goals. He showed flashes of his brilliance and has impressed the onlookers with his flexibility as a striker.

Indeed, Matthews is a modern-day centre-forward who can operate in the wider areas of the pitch. He is capable of running at the opposition, with his quick feet allowing him to dribble past defenders. Such versatility also enables him to start in a wider attacking position, if necessary.

Other than scoring goals, the 18-year-old has an eye for that key pass in the final third, making him a promising all-round centre-forward.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CEuAWMmAmbR/?utm_source=ig_embed

A Major Blow For Arsenal?

Matthews’ departure from Arsenal is certainly not good news for the club’s reserve side. However, it is fair to point out that the Gunners have a bunch of talented young strikers looking to make an impact at the top level.

Eddie Nketiah is already pushing Alexandre Lacazette for a place in the starting lineup while Folarin Balogun has attracted a lot of attention for his promising performances in the youth competitions. The youngster is expected to compete with another promising forward in Tyreece John-Jules, thus nullifying the need for Matthews, as far as the Arsenal reserve is concerned.

Where Will His New Journey Take Him?

Such competition was perhaps one of the main reasons behind the youngster’s decision to leave his boyhood club, in search of regular game-time. He would preferably like to play at a professional level, which could be a problem if he chooses a Premier League side.

After all, Newcastle United have been among the clubs linked with a move for Matthews this summer. But, the youngster could opt for a Championship side like Swansea City or Brentford, which would give him an opportunity to gain some much-needed professional experience before he is ready for the bigger challenge.

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