Arsenal U21s have become the latest youth team of to sign up for the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Gunners accepted an invitation from the EFL to join this competition, having previously declined in past couple of seasons. 

Alongside Arsenal, 11 other Premier League teams have entered their U21 sides in the 2018-19 edition of Checkatrade Trophy via invitation. Those teams include; last season’s semi finalists – Chelsea alongside Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

New Arsenal Academy manager, Per Mertesacker believes that entering the Checkatrade Trophy will provide Arsenal’s youngsters with “a variety of experiences in their development” as they prepare to potentially go out on loan to EFL clubs in the coming seasons. 

Middlesbrough, Stoke, Swansea and West Bromwich Albion are the four Championship teams to enter their youth squad in this controversial competition. 

 

The tournament’s format will remain the same with no alterations except to the rule concerning use of first team regulars from invited teams. 

Under the new rule, likes of Chelsea and Manchester City can name just two players who are over 21 years-old as long as they have made more than 40 First Team appearances for their side. 

The group stage draw will be held next month with the action getting underway in first week of September. 

 

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