Arsenal’s famed youth academy has been dealt its fourth blow in the last 24 hours after Daniel Crowley’s loan spell at Barnsley was ended early.
The highly-rated 18-year-old was supposed to stay with the League One side until Janury after joining the club in January.
But he’s made just seven starts for the Tykes and was substituted in the 45th minute of their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Fleetwood Town at the weekend.
Crowley’s setback follows disappointing performances from fellow youngsters Alex Iwobi, Glen Kamara and Ismael Bennacer as they played in the first team’s shock 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup last night.
Arsene Wenger has consistently handed young players a chance in the cup competition, but it appeared to backfire at Hillsborough as he said post-match that none of them were ready to play at that level.
And that must be disappointing for Arsenal fans keen to see more young players break through into the first team.
Crowley is highly-rated at the Gunners and that possibly explains why Wenger was so willing to let the playmaker go out on loan despite being just 18.
As for Kamara, Iwobi and Bennacer, they contributed to an Arsenal performance which was nowhere near the quality of Sheffield Wednesday – and that’s why the Gunners won’t be vying for Capital One Cup glory this season.
With Wenger’s strongest starting XI performing well enough to be joint-top of the Premier League, it really will take something special for any young players to make a strong case to be in his squad.