Arsenal U21s have started pre-season preparations ahead of the 2022-2023 campaign, allnigeriasoccer.com reports.
As many as nine youngsters of Nigerian descent were present at the Gunners training base at London Colney in St Albans on Wednesday June 22, 2022.
Nigerian-born central midfielder Tim Akinola has seemingly recovered from the ankle injury he suffered during his loan spell at Dundee United in the second half of last season as he was spotted during the training session.
Other Nigeria-eligible players involved in the workout included goalkeeper Ovie Ejeheri, defenders Mazeed Ogungbo, Ryan Alebiosu and Zach Awe, midfielders Miguel Azeez and James Olayinka, wingers Joel Ideho and Nathan Butler-Oyedeji.
Per Mertesacker, the Arsenal Academy Director, watched the training session with keen interest as Ken Gillard the Arsenal Academy U23 and loans coach and his assistant Mehmet Ali put the players through their paces.
As from the 2022-2023 season, the Premier League 2 will become an U21 competition, replacing the U23 format, but clubs are permitted to field five overage outfield players and one goalkeeper.
Akinola, Ejeheri, Ogungbo, Alebiosu, Awe, Azeez, Ideho and Butler-Oyedeji are all classed as U21 players by the Premier League, while 2000-born Olayinka is an overage player.
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