Mugabo’s Arsenal face Chelsea in NextGen Series semis

Arsenal U-19 cruised to the last four of the NextGen Series after beating CSKA Moscow in a one-legged quarter final at the Emirates on Monday.
Alfred Mugabo of Arsenal takes on Alex Gillead of Newcastle during the FA Youth Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at Underhill Stadium last year. Net photo.
Alfred Mugabo of Arsenal takes on Alex Gillead of Newcastle during the FA Youth Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at Underhill Stadium last year. Net photo.

Arsenal U-19 cruised to the last four of the NextGen Series after beating CSKA Moscow in a one-legged quarter final at the Emirates on Monday.

Serge Gnabry’s well-taken goal was enough to see off the challenge of CSKA Moscow and book Arsenal’s place in the semi-finals of the NextGen Series.

Midfielder Alfred Mugabo who was an used substitute in the game saw his side book a semi final match against London rivals Chelsea in the semi-finals at Lake Como, Italy on Friday afternoon.

Aston Villa, who beat Olympiakos 1-0 last night to progress, will play Sporting Lisbon, who beat Tottenham 5-3, in the other semi-final.

The youngster has joined the Academy set-up, now coached by Pat Holland after Steve Bould’s appointment as assistant manager, and Mugabo reports that things are going well despite a heavy opening-day defeat.

The midfielder who featured for Rwanda’s U-17 team at the 2011 Fifa World Cup in Mexcio said, “Like everyone else in the under-18s, one of my targets is getting as many games as possible for the under-21s - and also in the NextGen Series, which will give us all valuable experience against international teams. That gives us a chance to measure our standards against some of the best teams in Europe. Because the NextGen Series is an under-19 competition, we have got a good chance of being involved.”

The tournament’s momentum has been astounding. The quality of football so far has been testament to the idea. That idea was to create Champions League players at the youngest possible age, playing in front of bigger crowds against the very best academies in Europe.

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