Five Arsenal prospects to star for Under-23s as Premier League 2 season edges closer

The Premier League 2 returns this weekend as Arsenal Under-23s embark on their second season under Steve Bould’s stewardship.

Heading into the 2020/21 campaign, the 57-year-old has had to deal with a fair amount of change.

Key players from last season including Zech Medley, Matt Smith, Zak Swanson, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Trae Coyle have been rewarded with loan moves, while newcomers like Tim Akinola, Salah-Eddine and George Lewis will be looking to impress.

The young Gunners begin their season at home to Southampton on Friday [September 11] at the Arsenal Training Centre and here, assess five youngsters to look out for during 2020/21.

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Catalin Cirjan

The 17-year-old joined Arsenal’s Under-18s last summer and thoroughly impressed in his time with the squad. Over the course of the season, he played 15 U18 Premier League games and three in the FA Youth Cup, scoring three and assisting three goals.

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In those games, he was used both as a No.8. and a No.10. where he has proven that he can apply himself both with and without the ball.

The Romanian’s key strength is his technique in possession alongside his ability to either pick an intelligent pass or strike cleanly at goal. He displayed this best with his brace against Brighton before the break with one goal swept home from a free kick, while the other was smashed in after the need for some close control upon receiving the ball in the box.

Like many midfielders, however, his creativity isn’t limited to goals and assists as his influence in the Under-18s progression through the thirds was also prevalent last season.

Despite being more slight in his build, especially in the FA Youth Cup, he displayed a desire to battle for possession in midfield which could surprise opponents at times.

Joining the Under-23s ahead of the new…