Wenger watches Arsenal U23s beat Chelsea

Arsenal’s Under-23s beat their Chelsea counterparts 4-1 at London Colney on Friday, under the gaze of first-team boss Arsene Wenger.

While development squad boss Steve Gatting patrolled the technical area and barked instructions, Wenger took a watching brief while sat in the dugout.

Some of the younger Gunners will have caught his eye – particularly Donyell Malen, who scored one and had a hand in two of the other goals – but he was no doubt keen to see how his more experienced players got on.

Here’s how five of the more familiar names in the Arsenal line-up fared.

Emiliano Martinez

Had surprisingly little to do but when he was called upon he made good saves in the second half to deny Mason Mount and Charly Musonda, though having made the second stop he was unable to keep out the rebound effort from Ike Ugbo. He still feels he can eventually become the Gunners’ number one – despite making only 11 senior appearances since joining the club in 2010.

Carl Jenkinson

A strong presence at both ends of the pitch, getting in a couple of important blocks and also looking comfortable on the ball in the final third. He was afforded too much time in the first half to initiate attacks, though Chelsea shut that route off a little better after the break.

Rob Holding

One of the stand-out performers. Opened the scoring with a firm header and helped create the second as he coasted out from midfield with the ball. He played alongside Ben Sheaf, two-and-a-half years his junior, and helped coax an excellent display from the teenager, too.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

A constant threat to the Chelsea defence, particularly in the first half when the Gunners dominated the midfield. His exposure to senior football – 30 games in the Championship with Ipswich this season, as well as 10 first-team appearances for Arsenal – was clear for all to see at this level.

Danny Welbeck

His fragile knee was not risked on Sutton’s 3G surface on Monday but he put a decent shift in on the grass at London Colney, though he did not really have a chance from open play. His hunger to score though was evident in the emphatic way he dispatched his penalty.




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