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Andries Jonker names Arsenal prodigy he’s convinced ‘could make it all the way’ to the top

(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)


Andries Jonker names Arsenal prodigy he’s convinced ‘could make it all the way’ to the top

Andries Jonker has named three players during his time at Arsenal that he felt had enough quality to make it to the top for club and country, in conversation with The Sun.

Arsenal appointed Jonker to the role of Gunners academy manager ahead of the 2014-15, recruiting him from Wolfsburg, where he was assistant manager.

The Dutchman was in the role until February 2017, when he returned to Wolfsburg, this time as first-team manager.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Speaking to The Sun, Jonker claimed that, out of about 250 youth players, three of those were considered to be truly elite talents.

Two of those are still at Arsenal – one now in the first team and one still in the academy – while one has since left.

“At Arsenal, we had about 250 youth players,” Jonker said. “I was convinced three of them could make it all the way to the Emirates and the English national team.

“One is Reiss Nelson, one is Marcus McGuane and the other one is not there yet, he’s younger. Maybe I will mention it one day.”


Nelson has made 32 senior appearances to date for the Gunners, scoring two goals and claiming three assists, according to Transfermarkt.

McGuane, meanwhile, left Arsenal in 2018 for Barcelona and also had a loan spell with Dutch club Telstar before joining Nottingham Forest earlier this year.

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To date, Nelson hasn’t been given much game time for Arsenal – just over 30 senior appearances since breaking into the first team in 2017 – but, at just 20 years old, still has plenty of time to develop and progress.

As for McGuane, his time at Barca didn’t prove particularly fruitful – he fell out of love with football there before the Telstar loan got him back on track, according to Jonker – and is currently in Forest’s Under-23s squad, where he will hope to kick on after the football suspension.

Jonker is also right not to name the third player, as doing so could potentially place too much pressure on him.

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