There’s been a long running debate about what success from a club’s academy should actually look like.
Ideally you want your team to be winning everything at youth level so silverware is always a good look, but if that comes at the expense of producing the right players then it’s a pretty pointless venture.
Every kid who has ever played will remember at least one player who was unstoppable at youth level because of their pace or size, but once everyone started to catch up physically then they were quickly phased out due to a lack of ability.
The perfect formula for academy sides will allow players to go out on loan when they need to, while also allowing players to be successful and play in a winning side that helps them develop towards becoming ready for first team football.
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That’s been an issue for Arsenal’s U23 side this year after they’ve let a lot of players go out on loan, so the youngsters are unlikely to gain confidence or develop by being forced up a level and being thumped every week.
A report from Goal indicated they had taken the son of Dennis Bergkamp on trial as they looked to add more experience to that U23 team, but they’ve decided against signing him.
Mitchel Bergkamp is a 22 year old midfielder who didn’t manage to make the breakthrough at Almere City, and he didn’t impress enough at The Emirates to earn a deal either.
It would’ve been a weird move for him because he’s clearly never going to be good enough to play for Arsenal’s first team, so he would’ve been used as an experienced head to make the U23 more competitive for a year or two.
Nobody likes nepotism so there would’ve been questions if this move had actually happened, and it could even be the best thing for Mitchel to drop down a level and play some senior football.