Arsenal’s Latest Batch of Forgotten Youngsters Who Have Flourished Elsewhere

    Ismael Bennacer now plies his trade for Milan | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

    Arsenal’s academy is a breeding ground for talent, it always has been. Countless stars have made their names there and gone on to enjoy success both at Arsenal and further afield.

    The latest generation of youngsters are getting their chance to impress under Mikel Arteta, with the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka all enjoying regular minutes in the Premier League this season.

    Not all have made the grade at the Emirates Stadium however. Here are seven recent Arsenal academy stars who didn’t break through for the Gunners but found success elsewhere.

    SPAL v Juventus - Serie A
    Mavididi played just once for Juventus | Chris Ricco/Getty Images

    Age: 22

    Derby-born striker Mavididi turned professional with Arsenal in 2015 but never played for the first team and was snapped up by Juventus in 2018, after being scouted by Giorgio Chiellini’s brother.

    Initially signed as a reserve, he made his one and only first-team appearance last year, becoming the first English player to play for Juve since David Platt in 1992.

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    He joined French team Dijon this season, where he impressed and sealed a permanent move to Montpellier that was announced this week.

    Ismaël Bennacer is one of the highest rated midfielders in Europe now
    Ismaël Bennacer is one of the highest rated midfielders in Europe now | Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

    Age: 22

    A real success story in the latest crop of Arsenal youth rejects, French-born Algeria international Bennacer, has transformed himself into one of the most dynamic and sought-after midfielders in Europe.

    After progressing through the academy, he played just once for Arsenal as a substitute in a FA Cup tie in 2015 before joining French side Tours on loan.

    A permanent move to Italian outfit Empoli a year later allowed his career to flourish and he sealed a big-money move to AC Milan where he is now one of the first names on the team sheet.

    Donyell Malen is one of the most prolific forwards in Europe this season
    Donyell Malen is one of the most prolific forwards in Europe this season | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

    Age: 21

    Malen has been taking Dutch football by storm since his departure from Arsenal in 2017, much to the dismay of Gunners’ fans who weren’t best pleased when he left.

    They have every right to feel aggrieved too. The Dutch international, still only 21, had scored 17 impressive goals in 21 appearances for PSV this season, before the campaign was curtailed.

    He never played a competitive match for Arsenal but did feature briefly on a pre-season tour shortly before his move to the Netherlands.

    Ovie Ejaria
    Ovie Ejaria has had a great season for Reading | Alex Davidson/Getty Images

    Age: 21

    Ovie Ejaria is one of the brightest English midfield prospects in the country, playing outside of the Premier League, and has been instrumental in Championship side Reading’s improvement this season.

    The Southwark-born central midfielder began his career at Arsenal as a youth player before switching to Liverpool in 2014 where he still remains on the books.

    Jürgen Klopp will surely be keeping a close eye on the 22-year-old’s progress as he looks to bolster his midfield options for the title defence next year.

    Nathan Tella
    Nathan Tella recently made his Premier League debut for the Saints | Alex Burstow/Getty Images

    Age: 20

    Exciting prospect Nathan Tella made his Premier League debut for Southampton against Norwich last week after impressing in recent Under-23 outings.

    The tenacious young winger spent ten years at Arsenal before heading south in 2017 where he has worked his way into manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans and has been rewarded with a new contract.

    Josh Dasilva has broken through at Championship side Brentford
    Josh Dasilva has broken through at Championship side Brentford | Henry Browne/Getty Images

    Age: 21

    Josh Dasilva broke into the Arsenal first team from the academy in Arsene Wenger’s last season at the Emirates, making three EFL Cup appearances.

    However the combative midfielder couldn’t push his way into the long-term plans when Unai Emery arrived and headed to Brentford for valuable game time in 2018.

    This season has been an excellent and arguably a breakthrough one for the former England Under-20 international, where he has hit nine goals, including a hat-trick against Luton in November.

    Jeff Reine-Adelaide
    Jeff Reine-Adelaide is now at Lyon | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

    Age: 22

    Midfielder Reine-Adelaide rose up through the French domestic youth scene before moving to Arsenals academy in 2015. He featured in pre-season for the Gunners in his first year, impressing many with his maturity on the ball.

    The France Under-21 player played a small handful of FA Cup ties for the Gunners during the 2016/17 season before departing a year later to seek time on the pitch.

    Lyon signed Adelaide from Angers for €25m last season highlighting the significant rise in his stock since returning to his homeland.

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