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Arsenal U23s: Key Takeaways from the Everton draw

Rob Holding’s return tour continues.

Arsenal U23 v Watford XI: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

While the Arsenal senior side was getting ready for arguably their most difficult road trip of the season, the U23s were facing off against Everton in the Premier League 2. Following two wins to open up their campaign the young Gunners hosted Everton this past Friday.

A 2-2 draw kept Arsenal undefeated, but as always with the academy sides it’s about appearances and performances before results. Here are a few of the notable items from the match:

  • Rob Holding - Rob started the match and went the full 90 as he moves closer towards his return to the senior side. He has returned to full training with the first team. With David Luiz’s rough outing at Anfield, along with the pending exit of Mustafi, Holding’s return is very much top of mind for Arsenal fans. His ability to play the full match boasts well for his integration back into the senior squad after the international break.
  • Emile Smith Rowe - After signing a new contract with the first team he has been working back from a groin injury. He started and went 77 minutes and is expected to rejoin full training this coming week.
  • Tyreece John-Jules - The young attacker got the start and scored his first of the season in just the second minute of action. With Eddie Nketiah out on loan, John-Jules is likely just behind Gabriel Martinelli in the depth chart, and could see first team action in the early rounds of the cup competitions.
  • Robbie Burton - One of the standout debutantes from the American preseason tour. Burton started and captain the U23s, bagging Arsenal’s second goal of the match.
  • Trae Coyle - Playing on the right of the midfield line, Coyle picked up his second assist in three matches.

The Arsenal U23s are back in action this coming Friday as their travel to take on Derby County U23s. Arsenal currently sit second in the Premier League 2 table, tied on points with Chelsea U23s, but behind on goal difference.